Counter-Terrorism: Fatal Charity

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January 12, 2011:  Pakistani Islamic terror group Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) has not only remained intact after the Mumbai attack of November 2008 but has grown manifold in the years since then. According to Wikileaks documents, the LeT group spends over $ 5 million every year to recruit, train and launch terrorists not only against India but also against Western nations. This money was spent by LeT to purchase all materials required for LeT operations other than weapons and ammunition.

LeT obtained this huge amount of money from private donations, NGOs, madrasas (Islamic religious schools) and businesses throughout South Asia, the Middle East and Europe. Substantial portions of the funding comes from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait where LeT has considerable support not only among Pakistani expatriates working there, but also among Moslems from other countries. Besides, the terrorist group also enjoys the patronage of the royal families and other higher ups in both these countries, allowing it to solicit funds for terrorist activities quite openly. The group, however, draws most of its donations from Pakistan where businessmen, industry leaders, farmers and others donate freely for the terrorist cause. These donations are collected throughout the year, across Pakistan , sometimes in the name of religion and often, openly, for `jihad`.

The Wikileaks documents say that while part of the funds is used for LeT's charitable activities, large portions are diverted to strengthen its terrorist infrastructure. One report shows how LeT’s charity front, Idara Khidmat-e-Khalq, in December 2005 was issuing receipts for donations collected in Saudi Arabia. The LeT fundraisers operated through a front company in Saudi Arabia. Another document confirmed that Saudi Arabia remains a critical financial support base for al Qaeda, the Taliban, LeT and other terrorist groups, including Hamas, which probably raise millions of dollars annually from Saudi sources, often during Hajj and Ramadan. --- Rajeev Sharma

 


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