Lashkar-e-Taiba on Facebook
30 April 2010
Last month this blog published some research looking at the antisemitic rhetoric and anti-Jewish targeting of the Pakistani terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), which carried out the Mumbai terrorist attacks in November 2008. The post included examples of threats to Jews and Hindus by Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, the head of LeT's parent group, Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD).
Saeed and other officials at JuD say that they do not have any connection to LeT, but few people seem convinced by their denials. The Pakistani government thinks they are part of the same movement, as does the United Nations: after the Mumbai attacks, the UN added JuD to its list of entities connected to the Taliban and al-Qaeda, which was established to help enforce the sanctions against the Taliban imposed under UN Security Council Resolution 1267. It essentially means that the UN considers JuD to be a terrorist-supporting entity (at the very least). It may be significant that JuD is listed as an alternative name for LeT, rather than a separate organisation, and Saeed is named as the leader of LeT. The Pakistani government also banned JuD once they had been proscribed by the UN, although JuD have challenged this in the Pakistani courts, with some success, and in other ways have simply ignored the ban.
One way in which JuD has re-emerged since the crackdown on their activities after Mumbai is on the internet, and more specifically on Facebook. This has been reported in the Indian newspaper The Hindu, and you can see a screenshot here:
Although UNSCR 1267 concerns economic sanctions rather than propaganda, it seems incongruous that an organisation proscribed by the United Nations as a terrorist-supporting entity should have a page on Facebook.
Interestingly Moazzam Begg of Cageprisoners is listed as one of JuD's 430 Facebook friends:
Begg insists that he does not support the Taliban and has condemned terrorism, so this is presumably not friendship in the usual sense.