Lashkar-e-Islam

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    Table of contents
    1. 1. Overview
    2. 2. Structure
    3. 3. Arsenal
    4. 4. Tactics
    5. 5. Gallery
    6. 6. References

     

    lei flag.jpg
    Status: Active
    AKA: Army of Islam, Lashkar-e-Islami, LeI, LI
    Formed: 2004
    Areas of Operation: Pakistan; Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA)
    Ideology: Relgious (Islamist – Sunni, Deobandi)
    Group: 150-300 members
    Leader: Mangal Bagh
    Affiliates: Amar bil Maroof wa Nahi Anil Munkar (Vice and Virtue Movement), Afridi Malik Din Khel (tribe)
    Map:
    RSS:

    Overview

    Lashkar-e-Islam (LI) is a Sunni-Deobandi Islamist group that is chiefly concerned with the implementation of Sharia within their constituency, the Khyber Agency area of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) in Pakistan. While the group has sympathized with the mission of Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, they deny affiliation with the larger terrorist group. LI’s goals are primarily centered on local issues; they often target their rival group, Ansar-ul-Islam (AI) for control of the Bara region.
    LI was established in 2004 by Mufti Munir Shakir, a Deobandi cleric who controlled his own private radio station in Bara. Shakir was facing increasing violence between his religious followers and those of a rival radio program operated by Pir Saif ur-Rahman, a Barelvi cleric. Ur-Rahman retailiated by forming his own militant group named Ansar ul-Islam. With the creation of the new groups, violence increased dramatically in the region and both leaders were eventually ousted by tribal officials.[6] Control was handed over to Mangal Bagh, a more militant Islamist than even Shakir. Bagh stepped up attacks against AI and even engaged in incidents against Pakistani Frontier Corps forces in 2007 after personnel destroyed an LI building in Bara.


    LI entered into an agreement with Pakistani forces to disarm against government personnel in the Khyber Agency in July 2008. The terrorist group agreed to end their violent operations against the government if all arrested militants were released from custody, and if the government ceased their interference in tribal customs. LI agreed to operate within government-mandated limitations as long as they were allowed to practice Sharia in the Khyber Agency. This agreement didn’t last long as security forces and LI began clashing again in July 2009. Since then, government offensives on the group have multiplied, and security forces have effectively cut off many of the smuggling routes from Afghanistan, which has crippled the group’s revenue. Many militants have fled the region. While this has been a seemingly crushing blow to LI, clashing has continued and even intensified with AI as both terrorist groups have begun to use suicide bombing attack methods against one another.  

    Structure

    Leadership of the group was handed over temporarily to Haleem Shah, although it was returned to the still current leader of the group, Mangal Bagh. In 2010, the chief spokesperson was noted as being Haji Zar Khan.

    Arsenal

    Included in LI’s arsenal are machine guns, rocket propelled grenades, mortars, and improvised explosive device components. Reports suggest that their close affiliates, the Vice and Virtue Movement, provide weapons, ammunition, and other support to LI. 

    Tactics

    The majority of LI’s violent incidents surround their targeting of rival group, Ansarul Islam, as the groups operate competing Sharia courts in the Khyber Agency. Jane’s Information Group places total deaths for civilians and militants as a result of their clashes around 500 people since their creation in 2004.[6] The two groups have recently increased the deadliness of their potential attacks; in January 2010, ten people died as a result of a suicide attack in an Ansar ul-Islam-used mosque, and in February 2010, 35 people were killed, along with an LI commander, when a suicide bomber targeted an LI headquarters building in the Tirah Valley.


    LI is also responsible for targeting and causing distress and/or injury to religious minorities; in 2008, LI members kidnapped a group of sixteen Christians and detained them for days before releasing them during negotiations with other local government representatives. Group members also often target civilians as an effort to enforce Sharia on the surrounding population. In May 2007, LI militants stoned and then shot a woman to death for an alleged adultery incident. 

    Gallery

    lei dead.jpg

    LeI-linked militants attacked a wedding party in Pakistan on June 9, 2011, killing nine.[7]

    lei bagh.jpg

    Mangal Bagh leads LeI.[8]

    lei truck.jpg

    Pakistani military forces stormed LeI's headquarters in July 2009.[9]

    lei capture.jpg

    Pakistani soldiers with detained LeI militants on July 18, 2009.[10]

    lei mural.jpg

    A mural supporting LeI is painted in the group's headquarters of Bara.[11]

    lei car bomb.jpg

    Two Ansar-ul-Islam members were killed in a car bombing in August 2009; LeI was implicated in the attack by Pakistani authorities.[12]

    References

    1. Image retrieved on 09/21/2011 from [1]
    2. Maitra, K. (2001). Noxious web: Insurgency in the North-East. Delhi: Kanishka Publishers.
    3. Image retrieved on 09/21/2011 from [2]
    4. Image retrieved on 09/21/2011 from [3]
    5. Image retrieved on 09/21/2011 from [4]
    6. IHS Janes. (2010, October 28). Lashkar-e-Islam (LeI). Jane’s World Insurgency and Terrorism. Retrieved from [5]
    7. PAN. (2011, June 9). Retrieved from [6]
    8. Retrieved from [7]
    9. Khan, A. (2009, July). Central Asia Online. Retrieved from [8]
    10. AP. (2009, July 18). Retrieved from [9]
    11. Retrieved from [10]
    12. Dawn. (2009, August 22). Retrieved from [11]

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