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Swelling LeT numbers real threat in Kashmir, not IS or Qaeda

Intel: Of the 258 terrorists in the Valley, 139 are LeT men, including 39 locals

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Abhishek Bhalla

Updated: Jul 31, 2017, 06:35 AM IST

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Lashkar-e-Taiba has emerged as the most potent threat in Kashmir according to an intelligence review, revealing that the Pakistani terror group's recruits have peaked in the last one year, dismissing fears of Al-Qaeda and IS making inroads in the conflict-hit state.

According to an intelligence report, the LeT cadres have flooded terror ranks in Kashmir. Out of 258 terrorists, 139 belong to LeT, making it the most active terror outfit in Kashmir. This includes 39 locals, which is a new trend, as earlier the local recruits were more attracted towards Hizbul Mujahideen, a group more oriented towards the cause of Kashmir, said sources.

Among the 128 Pakistani terrorists in Kashmir, 100 belong to LeT.

Hizbul Mujahideen has recruited 95 persons to its ranks — 89 locals, six Pakistanis. Pakistani group Jaish-e-Mohammed has 23 terrorists active in Kashmir, according to the intelligence report.

Zakir Musa, who recently deserted the Hizbul Mujahideen, has set up another terror group, Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind, an affiliate of Al-Qaeda. There have also been reports of youth getting attracted to IS ideology. There have been instances of IS flag being waved in protests.

A security official tracking the situation says that firepower of LeT is by far the most and its increasing presence in Kashmir is alarming.

"The real threat in Kashmir is Pakistan backed LeT. The swelling numbers of the LeT recruits is a matter of serious concern," he said.

Sources in the security establishment dismiss the threat of IS or Al-Qaeda as a real one and stress on the need to curb infiltrations from Pakistan and Kashmiri youth joining LeT.

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