Written by Evan Kohlmann
In the aftermath of this week's terrorist attacks in Mumbai, Indian government officials and media outlets have already begun pointing a finger at Islamic militants in neighboring Pakistan -- particularly an organization known as Lashkar-e-Taiba (LET). The LET has been designated by the U.S. government as a proscribed foreign terrorist organization -- along with its accused political wing, Jamat-ud-Dawa (JUD).
Earlier this evening, I spoke via telephone with the official representative of JUD, Abdullah Muntazir, to discuss the situation in Mumbai and mounting allegations of involvement by LET and/or Pakistani Islamists. Muntazir strongly denied these charges, referring to the attacks as an "internal problem" for India. He repeatedly insisted to me, "we have nothing to do with it", and blamed Indian "propaganda" for "divert[ing] the attention of the public media" --- which he described as "their usual practice." Interestingly, during our conversation, Muntazir went even further and actually condemned the events that have taken place in Mumbai as needless "carnage": "Islam does not permit killing civilian people." He added, "I don't think that this is a legitimate tactic."