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Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (Punjabi: ਲਸ਼ਕਰ-ਏ-ਝੰਗਵੀ, لشكرِجهنگوی; alternately Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, LJ; English: Army of (Haq Nawaz) Jhangvi) is an Islamist militant organization, rooted in the Deobandi school of thought.[1] Formed in 1996, it is affiliated with Al Qaeda, and has operated in Pakistan since Sipah-e-Sahaba (SSP) activist Riaz Basra broke away from the SSP over differences with his seniors.[2] The group is considered a terrorist organization by Pakistan and the United States.[3]

Contents

Formation

Basra formed his own neo-Wahabi organization, named after the late founder of the original Sipah-e-Sahaba, Haq Nawaz Jhangvi. Jhangvi was killed in a retaliatory bomb attack by Shia militants in 1990. Riaz Basra gained notoriety when he orchestrated the assassination of Iranian diplomat Sadiq Ganji in Lahore.[4] Basra was also involved in the killing of Iranian Air Force cadets visiting Pakistan in the early 1990s, when sectarian attacks on Shias in Pakistan were at their peak. Both acts occurred in the northern city of Rawalpindi and greatly disturbed contemporary Pakistan-Iran relations.

Activities

As an organisation rooted in the Deobandi Islamic movement,[1] LJ initially directed most of its attacks against the Pakistani Shia Muslim community. It also claimed responsibility for the 1997 killing of four U.S. oil workers in Karachi. Lashkar-e-Jhangvi attempted to assassinate Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif (a Sunni) in 1999.[4] Basra himself was killed in 2002 when an attack he was leading on a Shia settlement near Multan failed. Basra was killed due to the cross-fire between his group and police assisted by armed local Shia residents.

  • LJ members kidnapped and killed U.S. journalist Daniel Pearl in January 2002. In March 2002 LJ members bombed a bus, killing 15 people, including 11 French technicians.
  • On March 17, 2002 at 11:00 AM, two members of the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi bombed the International Protestant Church in Islamabad during a church service. Five people were killed and 40 people were injured, mostly expatriates. In July 2002 Pakistani police killed one of the alleged perpetrators and arrested four Lashkar-e-Jhangvi members in connection with the church attack. The LJ members confessed to the killings and said the attack was in retaliation for the U.S. attack on Afghanistan.

Affiliations

LJ has ties to the Taliban, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) and to al-Qaeda.[2][7] In addition to receiving sanctuary from the Taliban in Afghanistan for their activity in Pakistan, LJ members fought alongside Taliban fighters. Pakistani government investigations in 2002 revealed that Al Qaeda has been involved with training of LJ, and that LJ fighters also fought alongside the Taliban against the Afghan Northern Alliance. The Pakistan Interior Minister, speaking of LJ members, stated: "They have been sleeping and eating together, receiving training together, and fighting against the Northern Alliance together in Afghanistan."

Designation as a "terrorist organization"

The Government of Pakistan designated the LJ a terrorist organization in August 2001, and the U.S. classified it as a Foreign Terrorist Organization under U.S. law in January 2003.[3] As a result, its finances are blocked worldwide by the U.S government.

References

  1. ^ a b "Lashkar-e-Jhangvi". Kashmir Herald. http://www.kashmirherald.com/profiles/Lashkar-e-Jhangvi.html. Retrieved 2009–08–11.  
  2. ^ a b Animesh Roul [http://www.jamestown.org/programs/gta/single/?tx_ttnews[tt_news]=497&tx_ttnews[backPid]=180&no_cache=1 Lashkar-e-Jhangvi: Sectarian Violence in Pakistan and Ties to International Terrorism]Terrorism Monitor, the Jamestown Foundation. Volume 3, Issue 11 (June 2, 2005),
  3. ^ a b Pakistani group joins US terror listBBC News South Asia. 30 January, 2003.
  4. ^ a b Rory McCarthy Death by design Guardian (UK). Friday May 17 2002
  5. ^ a b "Pakistan: Fractured skull killed Bhutto". CNN. 2007-12-28. http://www.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/asiapcf/12/28/pakistan.friday/. Retrieved 2007-12-28.  
  6. ^ Hussain, Zahid; Rehmat Mehsud (2009-10-15). "Wave of Deadly Attacks in Pakistan". Wall Street Journal (Dow Jones & Company, Inc.). http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125557894653686797.html?mod=WSJ_hps_MIDDLEThirdNews. Retrieved 2009-10-15. "In March, gunmen attacked the Sri Lankan cricket team during its visit to Lahore, killing six police officers. That attack, officials say, was masterminded by Mohammed Aqeel, also known as Dr. Usman, a member of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, a banned Punjabi militant outfit with strong links to the main Pakistan Taliban faction and al Qaeda. Mr. Aqeel also led the attack on the military headquarters in Rawalpindi, officials say, and was captured in the attack."  
  7. ^ "Pakistan and the Taliban". Economist. http://www.economist.com/world/asia/displaystory.cfm?story_id=14201152. Retrieved 2009–08–11.  

External links

An early version of this article was adapted from the public domain U.S. federal government sources.

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