Kashmiri involved in Danish newspaper terror plot


Ilyas Kashmiri, the leader of the Harakat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami and al Qaeda’s Brigade 313.

It has emerged that David Coleman Headley (also known as Daood Gilani), one of the two Chicago men charged with conspiracy to commit terrorist acts and providing material support to terrorists, had contact with al Qaeda field commander Ilyas Kashmiri and two Lashkar-e-Taiba operatives in Pakistan. Their intended target was the Danish newspaper Jylands-Posten, which printed cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed. From Reuters :

Headley allegedly reported and attempted to report on his overseas surveillance to other conspirators, according to the affidavits, including:

— Ilyas Kashmiri, identified as the operational chief of the Azad Kashmir section of Harakat-ul Jihad Islami (HUJI), a Pakistani-based terrorist organization with links to al Qaeda. Kashmiri, who is presently believed to be in Waziristan in the Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA) region in northwestern Pakistan, issued a statement this month that he was alive and working with al Qaeda;

— “Individual A” (who is identified as Individual A in the Headley affidavit and as Individual B in the Rana affidavit), who is associated with Kashmiri, as well as with Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), another Pakistani-based terrorist organization;

— an individual identified as “Lashkar-e-Taiba Member A” (LeT Member A), who has substantial influence and responsibility within the organization and whose identity is known to the government.

I have heard rumblings from several intelligence sources that Kashmiri is involved in al Qaeda’s external operations branch. Kashmiri fancies himself a military commander, and is known to have played a role in the military-terror assaults in Lahore, Rawalpindi, and Islamabad. We’ve yet to be made aware of the type of attack that was in the works against Jylands-Posten, but if Kashmiri and Lashkar-e-Taiba operatives were involved (LeT was behind the Mumbai assault), then you can bet there is a significant military component to it.

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

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