UNO: Lashkar Close to al-Qaeda, active in Europe, Iraq, Saudia

McClatchy has gained access to a confidential United Nations document on the Lashkar-e Tayiba, the Pakistan-based terrorist group suspected of being behind the attack on Mumbai. McClatchy writes:

‘ A U.N. document obtained by McClatchy said that LeT has sent operatives to attack U.S. troops in Iraq, established a branch in Saudi Arabia and been raising funds in Europe. The group may also have received money from al Qaida, suggesting that it has close ties with Osama bin Laden’s terrorist network based along Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan, the document said.’

The UN document expresses suspicions that al-Qaeda leaders such as Ayman al-Zawahiri are now working through non-Arab groups such as Lashkar-e Tayiba.

A UN Security Council Panel branded Jama’at ul Da’wa, led by Muhammad Hafiz Saeed a front organization for LeT on Thursday, naming 4 leaders as terrorist leaders and imposing sanctions on them. Those sanctioned include Muhammad Saeed himself (now under house arrest); Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, a paramilitary leader who is now in custody in Pakistan; finance chief Haji Muhammad Ashraf, and Saudi fund-raiser Mahmoud Mohammad Ahmed Bahariq.