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Map of Lashkar-e-Tayyiba operational area


Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, also known as Army of the Righteous, is one of the largest and most proficient of the Kashmir-focused militant groups. LT formed in the early 1990s as the military wing of Markaz-ud-Dawa-wal-Irshad, a Pakistan-based Islamic fundamentalist missionary organization founded in the 1980s to oppose the Soviets in Afghanistan. Since 1993, LT has conducted numerous attacks against Indian troops and civilian targets in the disputed Jammu and Kashmir state, as well as several high-profile attacks inside India itself. Concern over new LT attacks in India remains high. The United States and United Nations have designated LT an international terrorist organization. The Pakistani Government banned LT and froze its assets in 2002. In April 2012 two senior LT leaders were designated by the US State Department Rewards for Justice program. In June 2014, the US Treasury Department imposed sanctions on two additional LT leaders and the US State Department amended the Foreign Terrorist Organizations and Specially Designated Global Terrorist designations for LT to include four additional front organizations.

The Indian Government has charged LT with committing the 26–29 November 2008 attacks in Mumbai, in which gunmen using automatic weapons and grenades attacked several sites, killing more than 160 people. Pakistani authorities in April 2015 released on bail the head of LT operations, Zaki ur Rehman Lakhvi, pending prosecution of him and several other LT leaders for the Mumbai attacks. David Headley, an American citizen who acknowledged attending LT training camps, pleaded guilty in March 2010 to scouting targets for the Mumbai attacks. On 21 November 2012, India executed the lone surviving Mumbai attacker—Ajmal Kasab, a Pakistani—after the Indian Supreme Court upheld his death sentence. India has accused LT of involvement in other high-profile attacks, including the 11 July 2006 attack on multiple Mumbai commuter trains that killed more than 180 people. Indian authorities have speculated that LT also may have contributed surveillance and planning for the 13 February 2010 bombing of a German bakery in Pune, India.

LT’s exact size is unknown, but the group probably has several thousand members, predominantly Pakistani nationals seeking a united Kashmir under Pakistani rule. The group recruits internationally, as evidenced by the arrest in the United States of Jubair Ahmed in 2011, Headley’s arrest in 2009, and the indictment in 2003 of 11 LT terrorists in Virginia. In 2003, authorities also disrupted an LT plot to attack Australia and in 2009 LT put on hold a plot to attack Denmark in retaliation for cartoons drawn of the Prophet Muhammad.

LT maintains facilities in Pakistan, including training camps, schools, and medical clinics. LT coordinates its charitable activities through its front organization, Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), which spearheaded humanitarian relief to the victims of the October 2005 earthquake in Kashmir. JuD activities, however, have been limited since December 2008 by the UN’s designation of the group as an alias for LT. During the 2010 floods in Pakistan, JuD and an affiliated charity, the Falah-i-Insaniyat Foundation (FiF), were widely reported to have provided aid to flood victims. In 2014, JuD and FiF were providing relief to internally displaced persons in Pakistan who fled from Pakistani military operations in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas.