LeT has been building its sea strike capabilities since June, ostensibly in preparation for an attack on Indian shores.
More than a month before the 10th anniversary of the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai, Indian Navy and Coast Guard have been put on alert expecting attacks on ports, cargo ships and oil tankers by Pakistan-based terrorist outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).
According to a report by Hindustan Times, another Pakistan-based terror group, Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), has also started a training programme involving swimming and deep diving techniques.
Citing counter-terrorism officials and Pakistan watchers, the report states that the LeT has been building its sea strike capabilities since June, ostensibly in preparation for an attack on Indian shores.
Intelligence inputs cited by the report suggest that LeT’s front organisations, including Falah-e-Insaniyat Foundation, Al Dawa Water Rescue, Life Line Water Rescue and Rescue Mili Foundation have been training recruits in deep water diving techniques at swimming pools and canals. The locations of the training, according to the report, include Sheikhpura, Lahore and Faisalabad in Pakistan Punjab. The training has been on since June 2018, officials cited by the paper said.
The training also includes down proofing, wherein the swimmer keeps afloat using a form of breaststroke while the swimmer’s hands and feet are tied. The report states that sophisticated equipment like neoprene suit sets, weight belts, open-air circuit breathing apparatus and Gemini or Zodiac dinghies is also being used.
Officials cited by the paper state that the terror outfit might be planning to hijack cargo ships or oil tankers with the purpose of striking Indian ports. The outfit is also planning to carry out suicide attacks through sea and inland water channels.
The report states that the JeM leadership is projecting "Samundari jihad" as more sacred than land jihad and has been training its cadre in Pakistan's Bhawalpur area.The attack in Mumbai, which began after 10 LeT terrorists landed on the city's coast and fanned out to execute a coordinated strike, had left 164 dead and 304 injured.