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Lashkar link in Indonesia terror

New Delhi, Nov. 19: Several leading members of the Jehmaah Islamiyah, an Indonesia-based terrorist outfit, had been trained in Pakistan and then moved to Afghanistan, an independent think tank has said in a report released earlier this year.

At times, Lashkar-e-Toiba and Jehmaah militants trained together in Pakistan, the International Crisis Group’s report on Jehmaah operations in Southeast Asia added.

Taufik bin Abdul Halim alias Dani, the Malaysian Jehmaah activist arrested during a bombing in Jakarta in August 2001, told his interrogators he was in Pakistan in 1993 and from there went to Afghanistan. He said in April 1994, he moved to “camp Taibah” in Kunar for two weeks of training in firearms.

“This could have been a camp set up by a Pakistani group called Markaz Da’wat-ul-Irshad, which in 1993 established an armed wing, the Lashkar-i-Tayyeba, that is one of the groups since active in the violence in Kashmir. But one of its training camps was in Kunar and designed to train mujahideen from around the world,” the report said.

In August 1995, Taufik moved to Khost in Afghanistan for three months of artillery training, then to camp Khaldan, the most famous al Qaida camp, for two weeks of anti-tank training.

He was arrested on his return to Pakistan in February for not having valid travel papers and released in October. He returned to Malaysia from there.

Indian officials, who have long dubbed Pakistan as the epicentre of international terrorism, feel vindicated that the rest of the world is gradually finding out that Delhi was not trying to score brownie points over Islamabad by hurling accusations that it was helping terrorists.

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