LeT Raises Women Jehadis In Its Terror Network
20 November 2006
The Times of India
New Delhi: The presence of women of Kashmiri origin in the ranks of Lashkare- Taiba has set alarm bells ringing. Many of them, in fact, travelled to Pakistan on valid visas along with male accomplices and returned to the Valley after arms training. The women in the LeT ranks came to light after the recent arrest of a 20-yearold woman Khalida Akhtar in Srinagar. Her interrogation revealed that LeT has been raising a band of women terrorists of Kashmiri origin and providing them ideological and arms training in camps in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. Khalida's interrogation also revealed that these women were also being used to trap Army officers and jawans to monitor troop movement and operations so that LeT gains vantage positions during encounters. Khalida herself was arrested when she had come to meet an Army officer at Iqbal Park in Srinagar a month-and-ahalf ago. Resident of a small village in Baramullah district, 20-year-old Khalida was accorded VIP treatment all through her stay in the PoK camp. Khalida's passport and visa was arranged in April 2006 by LeT terrorist Jamal Khan, a resident of Kupwara, and the two had flown together to Pakistan from Delhi. She underwent training in PoK in April-May this year. Khalida is seen here by the security agencies as a significant catch given her sound ideological bent of mind and conviction which gained her the confidence of the leadership of her outfit in Pakistan and the authorities there. Sources said Khalida was acquainted with the Army officer and had been meeting him for some time. She had actually plotted his killing by LeT's area commanders in Srinagar - Anas Bhai alias Zahir Mansoor and Rizwan - the day she called the Army officer at Iqbal Park. But since the security forces were keeping a tab on the movements of the officer and Khalida, they managed to arrest her before the terrorists could strike, sources said. Khalida's associates, however, escaped. Though the presence of women jehadis in the Valley has never been discounted, this is the first time that a woman terrorist who has undergone arms training in PoK, has been arrested. In November 2005, a 22-year-old woman had blown herself up at Awantipora. The Jaish-e- Mohammad had claimed that the woman, Yaasmeena, was their fidayeen.