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Friday, December 28, 2007
 

Bhutto Update: Pakistan Blames Lashkar-E-Jhangvi

Pakistani authorities are blaming Lashkar-E-Jhangvi for yesterday's assassination of Benazir Bhutto. For most intents and purposes, LeJ is the same organization as al Qaeda.

To give you an idea of how closely the groups are related, LeJ provided the muscle for the kidnapping and murder of Daniel Pearl in 2002, an operation overseen by al Qaeda's terrorist mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed. KSM personally decapitated Pearl at the operation's end.

In other words, LeJ is part of "al Qaeda 1.0" -- a close-knit coalition of organizations working under the direct control of the core al Qaeda leadership. As per my post yesterday, this development is a pretty good sign that reports of al Qaeda 1.0's death are extremely premature.

On a side note, Ramzi Yousef was a member of the SSP, another Pakistani extremist group that was a predecessor of LeJ. Yousef's 1994 and 1995 attempts to assassinate Benazir Bhutto were likely done under the auspices of SSP and al Qaeda, so you can definitely view yesterday's attack as part of a long continuum of events (if the Pakistani assertion is true, of course).

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INTELWIRE is a web site edited by J.M. Berger. a researcher, analyst and consultant covering extremism, with a special focus on extremist activities in the U.S. and extremist use of social media. He is a non-resident fellow with the Brookings Institution, Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World, and author of the critically acclaimed Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam, the only definitive history of the U.S. jihadist movement, and co-author of ISIS: The State of Terror with Jessica Stern.

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