LeT having global ambitions beyond India: Mullen

The US on Wednesday said Lashkar-e-Taiba, which so far had focused primarily on India, is having global aspirations and has spread its tentacles beyond Pakistan and Afghanistan, as manifested by the David Headley case.

Last Updated: Jun 30, 2010, 23:55 PM IST

Washington: The US on Wednesday said
Lashkar-e-Taiba, which so far had focused primarily on India,
is having global aspirations and has spread its tentacles
beyond Pakistan and Afghanistan, as manifested by the David
Headley case.

"Generally, LeT was east, focused on India. They`re
now in the west. Actually, they`re not just in the west,
focused on Pakistan. There are LeT elements focused on
Afghanistan," Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint
Chiefs of Staff has said.
"We`ve seen in our own country, recently -- with
Detroit, with Times Square, with Headley, with Zazi -- we`ve
seen an increasing level of distributed threats, if you will,
and an ability to expand this federated approach which
al-Qaida has had.

And al-Qaida is at the centre of this and al-Qaida
leadership resides in Pakistan.

We know that and that`s why this strategy, from my
perspective, is so important, in terms of getting at al-Qaida
leadership and making sure they`ve got nowhere to go," he
said.

"I think al-Qaida continues to be the seminal threat
and the leadership, obviously. While they`ve had some
challenges in the last couple of years, but I think that`s
really the heart of it.

And their strategic goals include, again, killing as
many Westerners and Americans as possible," he said.

Al-Qaeda still seeks nuclear weapons and the US is
increasingly concerned about the nexus between terrorists and
nuclear weapons.

"I think we all, globally, have to do all we can to
make sure that doesn`t happen," Mullen said.

Mullen said he has been raising this concern of his
with Pakistan in every meeting he has with their leaders.
"If I go back even a couple years, when I first
started going to Pakistan on a regular basis, it`s an area
that I`ve raised with the military leadership there from day
one, and in terms of both concern and a desire to understand
the security level.

I come away from that, over a period of time, with a
belief that these are the most important weapons in the
Pakistani arsenal," he added.

That is both understood by their leadership and, in
particular, their military leadership and they go to
extraordinary efforts to both protect and secure them, he
added.

"That said, I think we all are limited -- in what we
know. We know a certain amount. We have invested in, over the
last couple of years, a substantial amount of money, through
the Department of Energy, specifically, to improve their
security," Mullen said.

PTI