A US Congressional Report has contented that the Dawood Ibrahim gang’s reported cooperation with terrorist organisations like al Qaeda and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) presents a threat to the US interests in South Asia.
The report, International Terrorism and Transnational Crime: Security Threats, U.S. Policy, and Considerations for Congress, prepared by the Congressional Research Service for the US Congress highlights the growing convergence between criminal groups and transnational terrorists across the globe.
The report also cites several case studies to illustrate the extent to which crime-terror convergence takes place. The case studies, besides the D-Company, include FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia), Taliban, al Qaeda, Al-Shabaab, and “alleged international crime-terror facilitators such as Viktor Bout, Monzer Al Kasser, and Abu Ghadiyah” among others.
The important points related to the Dawood gang’s association with terrorists which are highlighted in the report include:
1. Dawood’s D-Company is a 5000-member criminal syndicate, operating mostly in Pakistan, India, and the United Arab Emirates. The group provides an example of the criminal-terror “fusion model, the report states.
2. Dawood gang is involved in criminal activities like extortion and protection rackets, human smuggling, weapons and narcotics trafficking, contract killing, and money laundering.
3. According to the report, the destruction of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya and the subsequent communal riots were responsible for D-Company’s evolution into a true criminal-terrorist group.
“Outraged by the attacks on fellow Muslims and believing the Indian government acted indifferently to their plight, Ibrahim decided to retaliate. A heretofore secular organization with a sizable Hindu membership now assumed the objective of protecting India’s Muslim minority. Reportedly with assistance from the Pakistan government’s intelligence branch, the Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI), D-Company launched a series of bombing attacks on March 12, 1993, killing 257 people,” the report states.
4. Dawood then moved his headquarters to Karachi and deepened his alliance with the ISI and developed links with terror organizations like LeT. The report also contends that his group started financing LeT’s activities and even got recruits for its training camps.
5. The report also states that the “D-Company has found common cause with al Qaeda and shares its smuggling routes with the terror group.
6. The report also expresses fear that the D-Company, by lending its criminal expertise and networks to terror groups, can enhance their capabilities to strike at their will.
- The gang operates in Pakistan, India, and the United Arab Emirates.
- Involved in Human smuggling, weapons and drugs trafficking, extortion and protection rackets, and money laundering.
- The US Department of Treasury designated Dawood as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist under Executive Order 13224 in October 2003.
- In June 2006, President George W. Bush designated him, as well as his D-Company organization, as a Significant Foreign Narcotics Trafficker under the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act.
Source: CRS Report