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 Lashkar-e-Tayyiba

This Statement of Reasons is based on publicly available information about Lashkar-e-Tayyiba. To the Australian Government's knowledge, this information is accurate, reliable and has been corroborated by classified information where available.

Name of the organisation

Lashkar-e-Tayyiba

Known aliases

  • al Mansooreen
  • al Mansoorian
  • Army of Medina
  • Army of the Pure
  • Army of the Pure and Righteous
  • Army of the Righteous
  • Falah‑e‑Insaniyat Foundation
  • Idara Khidmat‑e‑Khalq
  • Jama’at ul‑Da’awa
  • Jama'at al‑Dawa
  • Jamaat ud‑Daawa
  • Jamaat ul‑Dawah
  • Jama'at‑i‑Dawat
  • Jamaati‑ud‑Dawa
  • Jama'at‑ud‑Da'awa
  • Jama'at‑ud‑Da'awah
  • Jamaat‑ud‑Dawa
  • Jamaat‑ul‑Dawa
  • Jamaiat‑ud‑Dawa
  • JuD
  • JUD
  • Lashkar‑e‑Taiba
  • Lashkar‑e‑Tayyaba
  • Lashkar‑e‑Toiba
  • Lashkar‑i‑Tayyaba
  • Lashkar‑i‑Toiba
  • Lashkar‑Tayyiba
  • LeT
  • LT
  • Milli Muslim League
  • Paasban‑e‑Ahle‑Hadis
  • Paasban‑e‑Kashmir
  • Paasban‑i‑Ahle‑Hadith
  • Party of Preachers
  • Party of the Calling
  • Pasban‑e‑Ahle‑Hadith
  • Pasban‑e‑Kashmir
  • Soldiers of the Pure
  • Tehreek
  • Tehreek‑e‑Tahafuz Qibla Awal
  • The Resistance Front, and
  • TRF.

Legislative basis for listing a terrorist organisation

Division 102 of the Criminal Code provides that for an organisation to be listed as a terrorist organisation, the Minister for Home Affairs must be satisfied on reasonable grounds that the organisation:

  • is directly or indirectly engaged in, preparing, planning, assisting in or fostering the doing of a terrorist act; or
  • advocates the doing of a terrorist act.

For the purposes of listing a terrorist organisation under the Criminal Code, the doing of a terrorist act includes the doing of a specific terrorist act, the doing of more than one terrorist act and the doing of a terrorist act, even if a terrorist act does not occur.

Background to this listing

The Australian Government first listed Lashkar-e-Tayyiba as a terrorist organisation under the Criminal Code on 9 November 2003. Lashkar-e-Tayyiba was re-listed on 5 June 2005, 7 October 2005, 8 September 2007, 8 September 2009, 18 August 2012, 11 August 2015 and 4 August 2018.

Details of the organisation

Overview and objectives

Lashkar-e-Tayyiba is a Pakistan-based Sunni violent extremist organisation that uses violence in pursuit of its stated objective of uniting Indian administered Kashmir (IaK) with Pakistan under a radical interpretation of Islamic law. Lashkar-e-Tayyiba’s broader objectives include establishing an Islamic Caliphate across the Indian subcontinent. To this end, Lashkar-e-Tayyiba intends to pursue the ‘liberation’ of all India’s Muslim population, even in areas where they do not form a majority.

Lashkar‑e‑Tayyiba has declared that democracy is antithetical to Islamic law and that its jihad requires work to turn Pakistan itself into an Islamic state. The Global Terrorism Index 2020 listed Lashkar-e-Tayyiba as one of the most active groups in the Jammu and Kashmir region.

Action taken by the Pakistani Government to combat financial assistance for terrorism has put a degree of pressure on Lashkar-e-Tayyiba’s operations in Pakistan. Despite this, and the arrest of senior members of Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, the organisation remains operational in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and the Jammu and Kashmir region.

History

Lashkar-e-Tayyiba was formed in 1989 as the military wing of the Pakistan-based Islamic fundamentalist movement Markaz al-Dawa was Irshad (MDI—meaning, the Centre for Religious Learning and Propagation, and also known as the Jamaat al-Dawa). Originally formed to wage militant jihad against the Soviet Union for its occupation of Afghanistan, Lashkar-e-Tayyiba shifted its focus to the insurgency in IaK in the 1990s after Soviet troops withdrew from Afghanistan.

Lashkar-e-Tayyiba has also operated under the alias Jamaat ud-Dawa (JuD), which was ostensibly created as a charitable organisation by Lashkar-e-Tayyiba founder Hafiz Muhammad Saeed immediately prior to Lashkar-e-Tayyiba being banned by the Pakistani Government in 2002. JuD functions as a front organisation for Lashkar-e-Tayyiba to mask its activities and solicit funds. Lashkar-e-Tayyiba and JuD are indistinguishable for the purpose of listing as a terrorist organisation.

Leadership

Hafiz Muhammad Saeed is the founder and Emir of Lashkar-e-Tayyiba. Saeed continues to provide leadership to Lashkar-e-Tayyiba despite his 2019 arrest by Pakistani authorities on terrorism financing charges and subsequent sentencing in 2020 to five and a half years in prison.

Zaki ur Rehman Lakhvi is Lashkar-e-Tayyiba’s chief of operations. On 7 December 2009, Lakhvi was arrested, along with several other Lashkar-e-Tayyiba members, for his alleged role in the 2008 Mumbai attacks. Lakhvi is yet to stand trial for his alleged role. Lakhvi was released on bail in 2015, but was again arrested in January 2021 for his alleged involvement in terrorism financing activity.

In 2021, other seconds in command, Yahya Mujahid and Zafar Iqbal were each sentenced to a total of 15 years imprisonment on terrorism financing charges.

Membership, recruitment and funding

The exact size of Lashkar‑e‑Tayyiba’s membership base is unknown. However, the United Nations reported Lashkar‑e‑Tayyiba had close to one thousand members operating in Afghanistan alone in May 2020. Lashkar‑e‑Tayyiba’s members are mostly Afghan and Pakistani citizens.

As of April 2020, media were reporting Lashkar‑e‑Tayyiba operated 16 training camps, the majority of which were in Pakistan-claimed Kashmir, but also in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab Provinces of Pakistan.

Lashkar‑e‑Tayyiba receives funding from donors in the Middle East—mainly Saudi Arabia—and through charitable donations collected from sympathisers in Pakistan. Private donations from across South Asia, Gulf states and Europe also contribute to Lashkar‑e‑Tayyiba’s finances.

As of June 2020, Pakistani Government measures have not halted Lashkar‑e‑Tayyiba financing. This indicates a level of sophistication in the group’s funding methods and diversification of its financial interests. In September 2020, Pakistan authorities ‘froze’ 611 properties belonging to Lashkar‑e‑Tayyiba, including schools, colleges, mosques, dispensaries, hospitals, boats and buildings. The mosques, schools and colleges in particular provide Lashkar‑e‑Tayyiba with broad access to the Pakistan population for recruitment purposes.

Links to other terrorist organisations

Lashkar‑e‑Tayyiba maintains links to a variety of violent extremist groups including the Afghan Taliban, Harkat ul Jihad al Islami, and listed terrorist organisations al-Qa’ida and Jaish‑e‑Mohammad. Lashkar‑e‑Tayyiba receives support from, and provides support to, domestic based terrorist groups and networks in India—most notably the Indian Mujahideen and the Students Islamic Movement of India—as well as militant groups in Kashmir.

Lashkar‑e‑Tayyiba is reportedly known to have previously collaborated with the Haqqani Network.

Lashkar‑e‑Tayyiba has also reportedly been involved in conflicts involving Muslims outside South Asia, including those in Bosnia, Chechnya and Kosovo.

Directly or indirectly engaged in preparing, planning, assisting in or fostering the doing of terrorist acts

Lashkar‑e‑Tayyiba has planned and undertaken numerous terrorist attacks against both Afghan and Indian security forces, Indian government and transport infrastructure, and civilians. Recent attacks which can be reliably attributed to Lashkar‑e‑Tayyiba include:

  • On 14 May 2020, Afghan authorities stated Lashkar‑e‑Tayyiba collaborated with the Haqqani Network to conduct a truck-borne improvised explosive device attack in Gardez, Paktia Province, Afghanistan, killing five and wounding 19 people.
  • On 24 April 2020, two Lashkar‑e‑Tayyiba militants abducted an Indian police officer from his home in IaK. A counter-terrorism operation to recover the police officer was conducted by Indian security forces, killing the two militants and injuring the police officer.
  • On 13 May 2019, Indian forces arrested two Lashkar‑e‑Tayyiba militants in South Kashmir who were planning targeted killings in IaK to spark tensions.
  • On 1 April 2019, Lashkar‑e‑Tayyiba militants injured four Indian security forces personnel in a gunfight in Pulwama, IaK.
  • On 30 August 2018, two Lashkar‑e‑Tayyiba militants were killed when Indian security forces discovered them in northern Kashmir with large quantities of arms and ammunition, likely in preparation to attack Indian positions on the Line of Control (LoC).
  • On 7 August 2018, Lashkar‑e‑Tayyiba militants killed four Indian Army soldiers as they attempted to cross into IaK from Pakistan-claimed Kashmir in Gurez, Bandipora.
  • On 4 August 2018, Lashkar‑e‑Tayyiba militants engaged in a gun battle with the Indian Army in South Kashmir during which one civilian was killed and 12 were injured.

On the basis of these examples, Lashkar‑e‑Tayyiba is responsible for directly or indirectly engaging in, preparing, planning, assisting in or fostering the doing of terrorist acts.

Other considerations

Links to Australia and threats to Australian interests

While Lashkar‑e‑Tayyiba does not specifically target Australian interests, Australians could be harmed in Lashkar‑e‑Tayyiba attacks directed at others—particularly mass casualty attacks against soft targets such as hotels, transport infrastructure and tourist sites. This occurred, for example, in Lashkar‑e‑Tayyiba’s 2008 Mumbai attacks, which killed two Australians.

Australians with links to Lashkar‑e‑Tayyiba members have also planned attacks in Australia. In 2007, a French court convicted French national Willie Brigitte, for planning terrorist attacks in Australia in 2003 in conjunction with Lashkar‑e‑Tayyiba suspected chief of external operations, Sajid Mir. Brigitte’s Australian associate, Faheem Khalid Lodhi, was also convicted of planning acts of terrorism in June 2006. In June 2008, Lodhi lost an appeal in the High Court of Australia to have his case overturned.

Listed by the United Nations or like-minded countries

Lashkar‑e‑Tayyiba is listed in the United Nations 1267 Committee’s consolidated list and proscribed as a terrorist organisation by the governments of Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Engagement in peace or mediation processes

Lashkar‑e‑Tayyiba is not engaged in any peace or mediation processes with the Pakistani or Indian Governments.

Conclusion

On the basis of the information above, the Australian Government assesses that Lashkar‑e‑Tayyiba is directly or indirectly engaged in, preparing, planning, assisting in or fostering the doing of terrorist acts.​