Lashkar-e-Taiba Wreaks Havoc in South Asia, Threatens the U.S.

FILE – In this Saturday, Nov. 29, 2008 file picture, smoke billows from the landmark Taj Mahal hotel in Mumbai, India after an attack by an al-Qaida franchise. With the death of al-Qaida leader Osama bin laden, a question remains: what impact will it have on the so-called al-Qaida franchises, affiliates that do their own fundraising, recruiting and killing. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

While much of the United States’ attention in South Asia has centered on battling al Qaeda, ISIS, the Haqqani network, and the Afghan Taliban, several other militant organizations, most notably Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), consistently wreak havoc in the region and directly threaten U.S. interests and security. Although LeT does not have the notoriety of ISIS and al Qaeda, it has previously attempted to strike the U.S. homeland and continues to keep America squarely in sights.

“LeT is arguably the most capable South Asia-based group when it comes to international terrorism,” Stephen Tankel, assistant professor in the School of International Service at American University, told The Cipher Brief. “Its ability to threaten the U.S. homeland directly, i.e. to execute its own terrorist attack, is probably higher than any other group in South Asia.”

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