WASHINGTON: Pakistan-based terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba had planned to assassinate the Gujarat Chief Minister, Mr Narendra Modi and use Kerala and Tamil Nadu as base for carrying out strikes in southern India, according to a secret US diplomatic cable.
Information coming out of a secret state department cable dated June 19, 2009 released by WikiLeaks indicates that LeT has established a facilitation centre in Sri Lanka and was looking at setting up a base of operations in Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
It also reveals the dangerously expanding Lashkar network in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Nepal.
The United States, which has charged the Wikileaks of indulging in a criminal act by stealing and releasing these cables, has neither confirmed nor denied the authenticity of these documents.
The secret state department cable is based on various intelligence inputs received by it, the source of which is not mentioned in the cable.
The cable notes that the network of Shafiq Khafa — a Lashkar leader — is "striving to stand up two teams in southern India that rely on the support of LT members based in India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and Nepal".
Although specific details of planned LeT attacks remain unknown, late-May 2009 intelligence indicates that Khafa’s cells were engaged in surveillance activities of potential targets, likely in southern India.
"Early-May reporting further suggests Kerala or Tamil Nadu may be used as a base of operations following the establishment of a facilitation team in Sri Lanka, with the estimated time of completion for setting up the facilitation route and camps to be two to three months," the cable said.
It is understood that the specific intelligence information was passed on to India.
"Separate tearline indicates, & Pakistan-based Shafiq Khafa prepared in mid-June with India-based associate S J for possible operations in India.
"Khafa was looking for information on possible training sites in the Indian states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Kerala," the cable said.
The cable says that LeT’s Shafiq Khafa was preparing for operations in India including the assassination of Mr Modi.
"Tearline reports, & Hussein, an India-based Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LT) member, continued operational planning on three tasks in early June.
"The tasks were associated with a possible operation against Gujarat Chief Minister Narendar Modi, the establishment of a training camp, and unspecified work involving a car.
"Hussein would coordinate his activities with an India-based colleague identified as Sameer," the cable said.