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Lashkar's terror gospel keeps jihadis going

By Vicky Nanjappa in Bengaluru
February 02, 2009 12:26 IST
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Motivational speeches are key to the making of a jihadi. The 26/11 murderers were repeatedly asked to read and listen to speeches by Anwar al-Awlaki, who has written on the 44 different ways of supporting jihad. has learnt that Ajmal Kasab, the lone surviving Mumbai killer, told Intelligence Bureau interrogators that during the murderers's training in Pakistan, they were exposed to the writings of Awalaki, who now lives in Yemen.

Awlaki's work is available at several madrassas in Pakistan.

An IB source told that his documents were the turning point for Kasab who had doubts about taking up the gun since his mother opposed the idea. However, a portion of Awlaki's work was quoted to him during training, which finally convinced him about jihad.

One document, which is in the IB's possession, quotes Awlaki as saying that jihad is obligatory for every Muslim and should be practiced by a child even if his parents object. Further, it states that jihad must be practiced even if a wife refuses a husband.

The recruits are repeatedly told that their brothers in jail are not criminals, but prisoners of war. Their fight is not against a country or nation, but it is the system they are fighting. They are made to believe that everyone is against them.

The would-be killers are also told that their prime objective is to overcome kafirs (non-believers).

The Western media finds repeated mention in the document. The would-be jihadis are told that they are duty bound to expose the 'lies' of the Western media.

Gathering information against kafirs is an integral part of becoming a jihadi, writes Awlaki. Besides, would-be jihadis are taught to avoid luxury while embarking upon a mission; their only wealth is jihad, which will take them to heaven.

The IB says the Lashkar-e-Tayiba swears by Awlaki's writings. Several young men like Kasab end up in Lashkar camps. However, during training some of them start having doubts and eventually abandon the path of jihad.

Kasab, in his confession, revealed that three young men had initially fled the terror training camp. The Lashkar uses Awlaki's writings to keep recruits focussed. Nine out of ten times, it does its job.

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Vicky Nanjappa in Bengaluru