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December 10, 2008

Mumbai Terror Group Linked to American Jihadis

Pakistan is pretty much determined to be the worst terrorist sponsoring state in the world, eclipsing even Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Syria.

A growing chorus of intelligence officials in the U.S. and in south Asia have pinned the Mumbai attacks on the Kashmir-based militants Lashkar-e-Taiba. But there's been hardly any mention of the extremist group's deep ties to American-based jihadists.

Since 2003, at least five U.S. citizens have been convicted in federal court of conspiring to provide material support to Lashkar-e-Taiba. At least nine more men, considered to be in the same larger circle, have been convicted of firearms violations and other felonies.... Several other cases are still making their way through the legal process.

Islamic extremists in America have used Lashkar-e-Taiba ("LeT") as a "stepping stone" into the broader world of global terror, says Evan Kohlmann, a senior investigator at the NEFA Foundation. With easy-to-access training facilities, English-speaking recruiters, and connections to militants around the world, a Lashkar camp is "the best way for emerging jihadist to get trained."
In April, 2000, for instance, Virginia native Randall Todd Royer (pictured) went to a LeT camp in Kashmir. The place wasn't hard to find, according to an opinion from U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema. Online newsletters gave out the group's phone number and e-mail address, with the assurance that "requests for information about the jihad in Kashmir are welcome." A recruiting center operated openly in Lahore, one of Pakistan's largest cities.

Royer spent a month at the LeT camp, firing AK-47s and other weapons, and going through endurance training. In August, Seifullah Chapman made a similar trip, arranged by Royer, who called it a "straight path" to global jihad. There, Chapman spent thirty days in "weapons training" and "performing military drills."


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posted by Ace at 05:42 PM

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