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Things You Learn In A Rawalpindi Market

So the last surviving Mumbai attacker stood up in court today and admitted guilt. In his account of how he came to join the terrorist ranks of Lashkar-e-Toiba, the foremost anti-Indian Pakistani terrorist outfit, he says:

Mr. Kasab said they went to the garrison city of Rawalpindi, next to Islamabad, where they decided to ask a jihadist group to train them to be militants. They would then use those skills to become expert robbers. They asked around in the city’s market for the mujahedeen fighters, and someone directed them to Lashkar-e-Taiba’s office.

I mean, holy shit! It shouldn’t really be a surprise that Lashkar offices are the subject of casual conversation in Rawalpindi — Bruce Reidel’s formulation for the Inter-Services Intelligence’s relationship with terrorist groups is "Fighting some, tolerating others and patronizing a few" — but Rawalpindi is the center of the Pakistani military apparatus. And you should watch Pakistani diplomats freak out when reporters ask them to confront evidence of their government’s continuing toleration of LET. 

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Spencer Ackerman

Spencer Ackerman

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