There is credible evidence that Pakistan-based terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) was responsible for the terror attack on the Indian consulate in Afghanistan’s Herat province, the US has said.
“Based on credible information… the US Government has assessed LeT was responsible for the attack in Herat on May 23rd, 2014. This is the attack on the Indian consulate (in Herat)”, State Department spokesperson Marie Harf said Wednesday while announcing additional sanctions against LeT affiliates and leaders.
However, given the sensitive nature of the information, she refused to divulge details about the information, based on which LeT was held responsible for the attack.
Coming three days before the swearing-in ceremony of Narendra Modi as PM, the attack was apparently LeT’s effort to derail his SAARC initiative. Modi had invited the heads of the states of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) nations including Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif for his swearing-in ceremony in New Delhi on May 26.
“We make our assessments based on a wide range of all-source information. In this case we believe, based on this information, it’s credible. We look at a number of different sources that we gather on our own. We have assessed that LeT did perpetrate this attack,” Harf said.
On the eve of the swearing-in ceremony, Afghan President Hamid Karzai had told an Indian news channel that LeT was responsible for the terrorist.
The Indian consulate in Herat was attacked on May 23 by four heavily-armed gunmen, who were killed in an encounter as India attributed the pre-dawn strike to terror elements “beyond the borders” of the war-torn country.
The US Wednesday re-designated LeT as a terrorist organisation and added several of its frontal organizations to the list, including Jamaat-ud-Dawa and Al-Anfal Trust.
“The designations help us cut off support and funding to LeT so they can’t undertake future attacks. Also, cooperation between the US and India has already led to several Mumbai terrorists — including David Headley, being brought to justice,” Harf said. PTI