Pakistan places Lashkar-e-Taiba leader under ‘house arrest’


Lashkar-e-Taiba leader Hafiz Saeed.

Just hours after the United Nations Security Council declared the Pakistan-based Jamaat-ud-Dawa a front for the Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist outfit, Pakistan acted against the group by placing the leader under house arrest and shut down offices throughout Pakistan.

Lashkar-e-Taiba leader Hafiz Saeed has been placed under “house arrest” for three months, according to a report by Geo News, while the group’s offices have been closed in Karachi, Hyderabad, Islamabad, Rawalpindi, and Azad Kashmir.

Pakistan acted after the UNSC declared the Jamaat-ud-Dawa as an alias for Lashkar-e-Taiba and placed Saeed and three senior Lashkar operatives on the list of terrorists associated with the Taliban and al Qaeda as per UNSC Resolution 1267. Also placed on the list are Lashkar’s chief of operations, the chief of finance, and a senior financier who served as the leader of Lashkar-e-Taiba in Saudi Arabia.

The Pakistani government said it would act against Lashkar and its leaders if the UNSC placed the group on its list of terrorists. Prior to the UNSC action, Pakistan detained two men thought to be complicit in last month’s assault on Mumbai, India. A team of terrorists held the city hostage for 62 hours and killed more than 180 civilians and security personnel.

Jamaat-ud-Dawa has long been known to be a front for the Lashkar-e-Taiba. Saeed renamed the Lashkar-e-Taiba to Jamaat-ud-Dawa in 2002 after Lashkar was banned by the Pakistani government. Pakistan had never acted against the Jamaat-ud-Dawa. Instead, Saeed and his leaders rebranded the group as a Muslim charity to mask the operations of Lashkar-e-Taiba.

The Jamaat-ud-Dawa has established an organization that rivals Lebanese Hezbollah. The group succeeded in providing aid to earthquake-ravaged regions in Kashmir in 2005 while the Pakistani government was slow to act. Lashkar is active in fundraising across the Middle East and South Asia, and has recruited scores of Westerners to train in its camps. Lashkar-e-Taiba is an ally of al Qaeda; the two groups provide support for each other, and their operatives train in each other’s camps.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.



  • GME says:

    In addition to simply “closing” these front organization offices, have the Pakistani authorities taken the obvious actions of seizing computers, records, assets, etc. of these groups?
    And even if assets were seized, was it done abruptly, without notice, so as to prevent the groups from erasing electronic files or from transporting documents out of the facilities to hide evidence?
    The answers to these questions–and others that speak to professional police prosecution–will reveal the true intentions of the authories. If these office closures are just part of a dog-and-pony show to keep the tiger away, then the authorities betray themselves as complicit or incompetent.

  • Solomon2 says:

    “Crime is crime” the PM said. Yet we don’t hear anything about seizing evidence for prosecutions. Really, we should stop paying attention to what Pakistan does here, because the true test was their refusal to allow extradition under any circumstances. That didn’t work for Columbia; it won’t work for Pakistan, either.

  • ST333 says:

    Pakistan seems to only react when they are pushed and the spotlight is turned on them. They lack a strong leader with a vision for a modern Pakistan. Articulate your vision day in and day out to your people. Rally them, excite them, inspire them. You either agree with the Islamist or you don’t. There is no middle ground yet somehow the government still manages to straddle the fence. The whole country is looked at as a failure because they can’t handle the religious zealots from the 7th century that plague their society. Do you want to be a productive member of the world community in 2008 or do you want to keep stoking religious wars from centuries ago? Extremist of all walks belong on the margins. Put them there Pakistan before it’s too late.

  • rob says:

    “House arrest” in Pakistan, sounds like a work from home program for these leaders of the LeT/JeM outfits.
    Interestingly, Pakistan waited until the UN declared the Jamaat-ud-Dawa a terrorist front group before allegedly cracking down on it…….that in itself, should cast doubts on what will be achieved by any of these actions.

  • meleager says:

    your questions contain the answers. Pakistan IS THE JIHAD STATE. It is not a fault that PK has an English veneer, it is a feature, that the jihad may be foisted upon the un-believer, under guise of lawful intercourse.

  • Solomon2 says:

    They lack a strong leader with a vision for a modern Pakistan.
    More accurately, Pakistan’s civilian leaders lack confidence that their exercise of the powers of their office under the letter of the law is sufficient to carry out their will. Given Pakistan’s history of alternating civilian with military rule, they have a point. But at the moment civilian legitimacy is at a maximum, for it is soon after elections, and corruption is not a dominant enough factor to warrant a military overthrow. Time to make alliances quickly, gather civilian bodyguards, and push hard.

  • gize says:

    our culture has moved authority, then?

  • Taimoor says:

    Both Communities Indian And Pakistani People Have To Sit Together And Sort Out All Issues Because Both Countries Have Groups Which Don’t Want To See Pakistan And India Together.

  • bard207 says:

    The civilian government has already backed down when they tried to wrest control of the ISI from the military during the summer. The boundaries have already been established on the amount of true power the civilian government has. They were tested by the military and they blinked.
    Pakistani patriotism – pride is extremely high at the moment and the civilian government can’t be seen as weak in the face of threats from India.
    Who did you have in mind for the PPP to make alliances with? They are probably the most progressive of the major parties in Pakistan. Those to the right like Nawaz Sharif and Imran Khan aren’t going to move leftward politically to help the PPP.
    The PPP has its own internal troubles.
    The winds blowing in Ialamabad
    Adding civilian bodyguards?
    Even if Zadari has 500 personal bodyguards, he will be removed if there is a coup done or supported
    by the military.

  • Render says:

    Why is this Pakistani house arrest program begining to look like protective custody from Predators?
    That thing about “groups” not wanting Pakistan and India to be together? That’s a historical tradition that goes back to 1948, by choice. Last time the two were together, there was no such thing as “Pakistan.”

  • Solomon2 says:

    I like that “Winds” link.
    Who did you have in mind for the PPP to make alliances with?
    That’s out of my league, I guess. There is no way that I, an ignorant American, could make specific tactical suggestions that Pakistani politicians would find useful (or that they hadn’t thought of already).
    What I am suggesting is a change in strategic direction, from the mere preservation of a weak civilian government that only offers corruption as a reward for letting the military have its way, to a more direct assertion of civilian control. That does indeed mean risking a coup. At a guess, the alliances one would have to make to prevent that are with the street – “people power” – and lower-level commanders who can be trusted to at least refuse illegal orders and keep their troops in the barracks and refuse to have anything to do with politics.
    Zardari wasn’t elected by the U.S., so not all of the people out on the street are Islamic radicals. If he calls out his supporters as his defense against the military, what would happen?
    No, I’m not kidding. To break the grip of the military, it has to be made clear that power resides in the people – that elections aren’t empty nothings, good only for grabbing the goodies of office. I think Pakistan’s politicians have lost sight of that, if indeed it was ever in their minds.

  • GME says:

    The Asia Times story, “Pakistan now on the hot seat,” casually reports that the JuD and LeT offices and training camps were quickly evacuated with no mention of the issue of police evidence or the wider question of de facto protection for these folks.
    The Pakistani civiilian authorities behave like Middle School students who have just finished a class in public relations and would like to impress their teachers with their propaganda prowess.
    What an Alice in Wonderland tale this whole business is. The theme of the article–that Pakistani civilian authorities are at loggerheads with these groups–rings false, revealing the story as sly disinformation, not news analysis.
    This would be humorous if so much were not at stake. Pakistan is headed straight for a cliff if Islamic fanaticism is allowed to metastasize. It’s as if a patient has terminal cancer but nobody wants to give hime the bad news.

  • Solomon2 says:

    It appears that it won’t be long before all those in Pakistani custody are released. Here is why:

    Pakistan on Friday pressed India to share evidence from the Mumbai attacks, warning that any effort to prosecute key suspects rounded up in Pakistan will be hamstrung without it.
    Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said Friday that Pakistan firmly believed that its territory should not be used to commit any act of terrorism.
    ‘However, our own investigations cannot proceed beyond a certain point without provision of credible information and evidence pertaining to Mumbai attacks,’ Qureshi said in a televised statement.

    So we see that despite rounding up the suspects and seizing their homes and offices, Pakistan can’t deliver any evidence that the alleged perpetrators were involved – not unless, maybe, the Indians provide “credible” information first – that is, spill the the names of their sources to Pakistani intelligence.
    Either the Indians have been lying through their teeth, or the Pakistani authorities have been incompetent or deceitful. Either way, all the LeT guys that have been nabbed will soon be walking again.
    There is no indication that Pakistan is currently taking a pro-active approach, though the local police were quite active in the beginning. Foreign Minister Qureshi, by spurning the efforts of these Pakistanis, is thus managing to make a poor impression both at home and abroad. What is he getting out of this?

  • sanman says:

    Surviving terrorist detainee Ajmal Qasab has written a letter to Pakistan requesting legal aid, reports CNN:
    Oh gee, why do I have a feeling he’s in for a disappointment when Pakistan disowns him? I guess there is no ISI legal defense fund for trapped terrorists.
    Darn that ‘plausible deniability’.

  • UJMi says:

    Even the most naive person in the world will be bewildered by the acts of Mr Kasab! This hardened criminal spills the beans less than 24 hours in interrogation! Wow! What do Indian agencies do? Why not America hire their services for the Gitmo too?
    Everything aside, it is still a shame that Pakistan is pressed on without being provided with any “evidences”!


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