Washington: Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) was using charity services in the garb of extremism and has gained support from Islamabad, a top Obama administration official has said.
"Lashkar-e-Toiba has an enormous presence in Pakistan providing education, medical services and the like, which has aligned itself very closely with many in that region and gained support from the government of Pakistan," said Michael Leiter, director of National Counterterrorism Centre.
Noting that LeT is using "charity services in the garb of extremism", he said this is because the State does not provide services to its people.
"One way is to either directly attempt to provide competing services. Or more of relevance is to encourage and support the nation-states in whose areas they operate to provide similar services so that in order to compete with them, because they fill a vacuum, as LeT does, that the state doesn`t provide," he said.
On Wednesday, Leiter had said LeT was increasing its operational role against American and coalition forces in Afghanistan.
"In Pakistan, we remain focused on Lashkar-e-Toiba, the group behind the 2008 Mumbai attacks, which remains a threat to a variety of interests in South Asia.”
"And although LeT has not yet conducted attacks in the West, it does have individuals who have been trained, who have been involved in attacks, and it could pose a threat to the homeland and Europe, in addition to destabilising South Asia more broadly," Leiter had said.
Leiter said LeT`s previous attacks in Kashmir and India have had a destabilising effect on the region, increasing tension and brinkmanship between New Delhi and Islamabad.