Hafiz Saeed, founder of the Pakistani terrorist groups Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and Jama’at al-Dawa (JaD), gets a lot of media coverage overseas. (LeT has been blamed for the abduction and beheading of Wall Street journalist Daniel Pearl.) Alas, there's not so much coverage of LeT and JaD in the U.S. media.
"The paper alleges the militant group Lashkar-e-Toiba (The Army of the Pure) - which is banned in Pakistan - also uses Spain as a logistical and fund gathering base. Spain's anti-terror forces admit they are concerned about the infiltration of extremists from such groups as Jaish-i-Mohamed and Lashkar-e-Toiba within the Pakistani community. Catalonian police have signalled the presence in the region of several "highly mobile" radical Pakistani groups who are reported to be moving around Spain and other countries."
And in the Australian press today:
"French Muslim convert Willie Brigitte moved to Australia to start a new life and flee the influence of Islamic extremists, not to plot a terrorist attack, his lawyers said today. But French prosecutors allege he trained as a terrorist and was planning attacks on Sydney's Lucas Heights nuclear reactor, the Pine Gap US spy base in central Australia and other strategic targets."
"...French prosecutors accuse Brigitte of, among other things, setting up a terror cell in Australia on the orders of the Pakistani Islamic extremist group Lashkar-e-Toiba. The case alleges he attended Islamic schools linked to al-Qaeda in Yemen and that he later underwent weapons training in Pakistan to prepare him for a terror attack.."
Over at India Alert blog, we can read excerpts from Hafiz Saeed's address to large gathering at the Al Qadsia Mosque in Lahore on Monday, February 5, "Kashmir Day":
"I want to tell the rulers that we have not started jihad in Kashmir with their approval. It was our own initiative for the cause of Islam and to please Allah. And we are determined to continue it till the last drop of our blood. Musharraf or any other dictator cannot stop jihad in Kashmir. If any such attempt was made, such infidels will be eliminated who will be a hurdle in the way of jihad."
"Remember my friends, jihad has been ordained by Allah. It is not an order of a general that can be started one day and stopped the other day. Now jihad in Kashmir will end when all the Hindus will be destroyed in India! They have massacred millions of the Muslims during partition. We will take revenge of this massacre. This revenge is obligatory since it is a form of jihad."
Well, alrighty then. No wonder Indian, Pakistani, French and Australian newspapers track this guy. Also unremarked upon in the U.S. press (except for intrepid reporter Lane Lambert) is the fact that Hafiz Saeed has three family members who are imams in Massachusetts mosques (small world!):
- Hafiz Abdul Hannan (brother-in-law) of the Islamic Society of Greater Lowell, who was arrested last November and charged with religious visa fraud;
- Hafiz Mahmood Hamid (brother) of the Islamic Society of Greater Worcester (not arrested).
Muhammed Masood has said that he "disavows any relationship with his brother's politics." Hmm, not exactly a condemntation of Saeed's terrorist organizations. We haven't heard any disclaimers by either Imam Hannan or Imam Hamid about the "politics" of their brother-law-in/brother Hafiz Saeed.
No reporters have interviewed the three imams on this matter. But the imams are still engaging in interfaith discussions, so perhaps the interfaith people can make some inquiries. I'm curious as to what the imams were doing in Pakistan before they came to the U.S. Did they have any involvement with either Lashkar-e-Toiba or later with Jama’at al-Dawa? (Both organizations were labelled as terrorist organizations by the U.S. State Department, in 2002 and 2006, respectively.) What was their business in Pakistan exactly?
The 52-acre ICNE estate in Sharon brings to mind the 200-acre LeT estate some 20 miles north of Lahore. It is believed that Saudis (and Osama bin Laden) financed Saeed's compound in Pakistan. Intelligence sources report that Abdullah Azzam (the "Godfather of Jihad" in Afghanistan and the "brains" behind Hamas) was a co-founder of LeT with Saeed. More on Azzam here. That's some legacy going on.
Intelligence operatives in Spain and Australia believe that LeT is setting up terrorist cells in their countries. Isn't it possible that LeT is/has set up terrorist cells here in the U.S.? Can the interfaith people inquire about this?
Enquiring minds want to know. No criticism is intended, and I'm not assuming that anyone is guilty by association! But we the public deserve to know answers to these questions. This is in our backyard.