Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) runs a series of well-oiled courses for budding terrorists, ranging from religious indoctrination to military and intelligence training, which are aimed at boosting militancy in Kashmir.
David Headley, a Pakistani-American LeT operative, provided an insight into the religious, military and intelligence training being imparted by LeT, which has been responsible for the Mumbai attacks and is considered a threat by the US, in his testimony during the recently-concluded trial of co-accused Tahawwur Rana.
Headley, 50, told the court that he went for religious training by the LeT in 2002; the three-month operational military training in 2003; and the LeT leadership course in 2004. In between, he did a course in intelligence in 2003.
"I did the basic -- the religious course in the beginning. I did a preliminary course, a military. And then I did the advanced course. Then I did the intelligence course. Then I did the anti-terrorist course. Then I did the leadership course. And that's it," Headley told the court in response to a question from the defence attorney.
All these courses, he said, were directed towards fighting in Kashmir.
Headley told the court that LeT taught them "small unit tactics," for "conventional and guerrilla warfare" in both "urban and country settings," so that LeT terrorists could fight against the Indian army.
"And that was your aim, that you were going to fight in that battle?" he was asked.
"That is correct", Headley responded.
"They really didn't teach you ...in the intelligence course, the intelligence was designed to help you with that type of a battle, correct, fighting in the guerrilla war, so to speak?" he was asked.
"No. The intelligence was a little different from that. That was geared toward living... small groups of Lashkar operatives that would go in and live inside of India. That was geared for that mainly," Headley said.
"Small groups. Where were they going to live, in Kashmir or India itself?" the defence attorney asked.
"In India or Kashmir, both," Headley said.
"And do what type of work?" he was asked.
"Surveillance or checking out some locations as well as VIPs or personnel," he said.
After he was working for LeT for four-five years, Major Iqbal of the ISI got in touch with him in 2006.
"How do you know he was in ISI?" the defence attorney asked.
"Because I had been introduced to him by a person who had met -- who I had met inside a military cantonment in Landi Kotal," Headley said.