LTTE-Mujahideen link suspected in attack on cricketers
Geneva, 05 March, (Asiantribune.com): European intelligence sources revealed that MOSSAD and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) of USA suspect an Islamic militant group linked to Tamil Tigers of Sri Lanka could be responsible for the attack on Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore on Tuesday. According to reliable sources, the Indian intelligence experts on Tamil terrorist activities in South Indian state of Tamil Nadu have named an Al Qaida-linked militant group, Markat-u-Mujahideen, with close links with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) as a potential mastermind of the Lahore attack in which eight people died and several Sri lankan cricket players were injured.
The LTTE maintained a very close links with Markat-u-Mujahideen since 1980s. The LTTE contact man with the Islamic militants was Kanakarathnam, who used a posed as a Muslim under the name Raheem.
Raheem was a very close associate of LTTE supreme Velupillai Praphakaran in 1980s ranked along with top Tiger leaders Mahattaya alias Kopalasamy Mahendraraja, Kittu alias Kirshnakumar and Yogi alias Yogarathnam.
While Mahattaya was tortured and killed by LTTE for suspected links with Indian intelligence agency Research and Analyses Wing (RAW) and Kittu committed suicide when the Indian Navy captured the LTTE armed ship Ahat off Indian coast, Raheem and Yogi suddenly disappeared from limelight.
Chennai intelligence sources said that he LTTE and Markat-u-Mujahideen worked very closely during the 1980s and 1990s in trafficking drugs and arms, according to the Asian Age. The LTTE provided ships for transporting heroin from Afghan-Pakistan region and in return got weapons from the militant group, the newspaper quoted the intelligence sources as saying.
Some in international quarters have suggested that Tamil Tigers could have given a contract to Markat-u-Mujahideen for the Lahore attack.
In recent weeks, the Tigers have seen key towns fall to the military, prompting many to speculate that it is the beginning of the end of their insurgency. “But could the Sri Lankan rebel group make a desperate move like this one to stage a comeback?” experts asked.
Analysts say they are not known to have operated in Pakistan in the past, and do not have the kind of logistics and network in the region that they would require to stage an attack of this nature.
Besides, they are unlikely to blow up the entire Sri Lanka team - as the attackers tried to do by lobbing grenades under their bus - because it also includes ethnic Tamils.
Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama said that while he did not intend to "jump to conclusion," he couldn't "rule out the involvement of any terrorist organization at this moment."
The foreign minister hinted that the LTTE could be involved in Tuesday's attack, in which Six Pakistani policemen were killed and six Sri Lankan cricketers injured when a dozen gunmen attacked the cricketers' convoy in Lahore.
He said the attacks were "another instance" of the threats posed by terrorists, and called on India and the international community to "counter terrorism in all its forms and manifestations," according to the report.
- ASian Tribune -