Country Reports on Terrorism 2016 - Foreign Terrorist Organizations: Lashkar i Jhangvi (LJ)
|Publisher||United States Department of State|
|Publication Date||19 July 2017|
|Cite as||United States Department of State, Country Reports on Terrorism 2016 - Foreign Terrorist Organizations: Lashkar i Jhangvi (LJ), 19 July 2017, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/5981e3cb13.html [accessed 19 October 2017]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
aka Army of Jhangvi; Lashkar e Jhangvi; Lashkar-i-Jhangvi
Description: Designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization on January 30, 2003, Lashkar I Jhangvi (LJ) is the terrorist offshoot of the Sunni Deobandi sectarian group Sipah-i-Sahaba Pakistan. LJ carries out attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan, focusing primarily on anti-Shia operations. The Government of Pakistan banned the group in August 2001 as part of an effort to rein in sectarian violence, causing many LJ members to seek refuge in Afghanistan with the Taliban, with whom the group had existing ties. After the collapse of the Taliban government in Afghanistan, LJ members became active in aiding other terrorists; they provided safe houses, false identities, and protection in Pakistani cities, including Karachi, Peshawar, and Rawalpindi. LJ works closely with the Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan.
Activities: LJ specializes in armed attacks and bombings and has admitted to numerous killings of Shia religious and community leaders in Pakistan. In January 1999, the group attempted to assassinate Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his brother Shahbaz Sharif, Chief Minister of Punjab Province. Media reports linked LJ to attacks on Christian targets in Pakistan, including a March 2002 grenade assault on the Protestant International Church in Islamabad that killed two U.S. citizens.
In January 2014, at least 24 people were killed and 40 others wounded in a bus bombing targeting Shia pilgrims; LJ claimed responsibility for the attack. LJ also claimed responsibility for the December 2015 suicide bombing that targeted a market in the predominantly Shia town of Parachinar, Pakistan that killed at least 23 people and wounded 50.
In November 2016, two individuals suspected of belonging to LJ were arrested by police in Pakistan for their alleged involvement in 25 cases of targeted killings which included the murder of Pakistani singer Amjad Sabri, as well as army and police personnel. In December, Naeem Bukhari was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court for his involvement in several attacks as the head of a faction of LJ. Several attacks claimed by Islamic State's Khorasan Province in Pakistan in 2016 were suspected of being conducted in collaboration with LJ affiliates.
Strength: Membership is assessed to be in the low hundreds.
Location/Area of Operation: Primarily in Pakistan's Punjab province, the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, Karachi, and Balochistan.
Funding and External Aid: Funding comes from wealthy donors in Pakistan, as well as the Middle East, particularly Saudi Arabia. The group engages in criminal activity, including extortion, to fund its activities.