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The Fights of Lashkar-e-Taiba: Recruitment, Training, Deployment and Death

The Fights of Lashkar-e-Taiba: Recruitment, Training, Deployment and Death published on

Authored by Combating Terrorism Center at West Point

This work is a study of over 900 biographies of the deceased militants of Lashkar e Taiba (LeT), a Pakistani militant group that has waged a campaign of asymmetric warfare against Indian security forces and civilians in the contested region of Kashmir for over two decades, as well as other parts of India more recently. Although LeT had a storied history on the eve of its high-profile November 2008 terrorist assault on the Indian city of Mumbai, that particular event and the case of American LeT operative David Headley (who conducted the reconnaissance for the attack) thrust the organization and the evolving threat it poses to regional security and Western interests into broader international consciousness. That attack, coupled with LeT’s recruitment of Westerners and linkages to a number of other international terror plots over the past decade, have heightened concerns that the group’s interests and operational priorities are no longer just regional, but that they are also becoming (or have already become) global. This has led to a proliferation of interest in LeT and a desire to learn more about the group’s behavior and how it operates outside of the South Asia region.

Instead of evaluating evidence of the group’s internationalism, as many recent studies have attempted to do, this study is more foundational in focus. It is predicated on the assumption that LeT’s local activity and infrastructure are and will remain the key source of its strength, even if the group decides to become more active in the international arena. By leveraging biographical information extracted from four Urdu language publications produced by LeT from 1994 to 2007 and statistical information released by the government of Pakistan, this study aims to provide baseline data about LeT’s local recruits, the nature of the time they spend with the group and how these dynamics have changed over time. Specific emphasis is placed on providing insights into the following four research questions:

1) What is the general background of LeT’s local fighters?
2) How and from where are these fighters recruited?
3) What level of training do these fighters have and where were they trained?
4) Where exactly do LeT’s fighters die?

Publication Date:
Aug 06 2014
1500748978 / 9781500748975
Page Count:
Binding Type:
US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
8.5″ x 11″
Black and White
Related Categories:
Political Science / Political Freedom & Security / Terrorism


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