A powerful Islamist militant group Monday denied links to a Pakistani man arrested in the US on charges of providing support to the outfit blamed for the deadly Mumbai attacks in 2008.
Jubair Ahmad, 24, stands accused of providing material support to Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), designated by the US as a foreign terrorist organization, and then lying about his involvement to investigators.
“The arrested Pakistani young man Jubair Ahmed has never been associated with Lashkar-e-Taiba,” the group’s spokesman Abdullah Ghaznavi told AFP by telephone from an undisclosed location.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation had been investigating Ahmad, a legal permanent resident living in the US state of Virginia, since 2009, after receiving information that he might be linked to LeT.
The FBI learned that as a teen Ahmad received “indoctrination and training from LeT while he lived in Pakistan,” and that from the United States he communicated with the son of the extremist group’s founder Hafiz Saeed.
“Linking of Jubair to Lashkar by US investigators is part of Indian propaganda that has been unleashed in the US with an aim to malign Kashmir’s freedom struggle and to hoodwink the international community,” Ghaznavi said.
He said Lashkar’s network was only confined to Kashmir and the group had “no global agenda.”
According to an unsealed affidavit by an FBI special agent, Ahmad produced and posted a propaganda video for LeT “glorifying violent jihad” in 2010, some three years after he arrived in the United States with his parents and two younger brothers.
Delhi has blamed LeT for Mumbai assaults, which left 166 people dead and severely strained relations between the nuclear-armed rivals India and Pakistan.
The LeT is one of several militant groups fighting to secede Kashmir from India and join it with Pakistan. Some outfits want independence for the region, which has been racked by a deadly insurgency since 1989.