Lashkar i Jhangvi
Definition/Scope: Lashkar i Jhangvi (LJ) is the militant offshoot of the Sunni Deobandi sectarian group Sipah-i-Sahaba Pakistan. LJ focuses primarily on anti-Shia attacks and was banned by Pakistani President Musharraf in August 2001 as part of an effort to rein in sectarian violence. Many of its members then sought refuge in Afghanistan with the Taliban, with whom they had existing ties. After the collapse of the Taliban, LJ members became active in aiding other terrorists with safe houses, false identities, and protection in Pakistani cities, including Karachi, Peshawar, and Rawalpindi. They have specialized in armed attacks and bombings and has admitted responsibility for numerous killings of Shia religious and community leaders in Pakistan. In January, the Interior Ministry ordered the arrest of three LJ militants suspected of being involved in a suicide bombing at a Shia religious procession in Peshawar that killed 15 people. In February, police arrested 20 LJ militants who were wanted for various terrorism attacks in the Punjab and Sindh provinces. In June, Sindh authorities issued a statement attributing the April 2006 Mishtar Parking bombing in Karachi to a militant with ties to LJ. The government claimed that the group was involved in the April 2006 assassination attempt and the July 2006 assassination of Allama Turabi, an influential Shia leader. In October, Afghan security forces claimed to have arrested four Pakistani suicide bombers in Kandahar who asserted that they belonged to LJ. In May 2006, Pakistani police arrested two LJ militants suspected of involvement in the March bombing outside the U.S. Consulate in Karachi that killed one U.S. official. Pakistani authorities have publicly linked LJ members to the 2002 abduction and murder of U.S. journalist Daniel Pearl. Media reports linked LJ to attacks on Christian targets in Pakistan, including a March 2002 grenade assault on the Protestant International Church in Islamabad that killed two U.S. citizens, but no formal charges were filed. Pakistani authorities believe LJ was responsible for the July 2003 bombing of a Shia mosque in Quetta, Pakistan. Authorities also implicated LJ in several sectarian incidents in 2004, including the May and June bombings of two Shia mosques in Karachi that killed more than 40 people. In January 1999, the group attempted to assassinate former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his brother Shabaz Sharif, Chief Minister of Punjab Province. They appear to operate primarily in Punjab and Karachi. Some members travel between Pakistan and Afghanistan. They have also been known as Lashkar e Jhangvi and Lashkari-i-Jhangvi.
Broader Terms:foreign terrorist organization