Name of Organization   Lashkar-e Islam (LI)
Formation  

LI was formed in 2004 by a Deobandi cleric Mufti Munir Shakir, who at that time used to run an illegal private radio station in Bara. The aim was to ensure the implementation of Sharia Law in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa[1].
 

Leadership   Ex-Leader/Founder: Mufti Munir Shakir

Owner of a former local fm radio station in district Bara, Mufti is a religious figure. No information related to the name and frequency of his radio station is available. With the help of his radio station (which focused primarily on the Mufti Munirís religious teachings), not only did he gain popularity amongst the locals, but also managed to spread his religious beliefs based on Deobandi school of thought. His stint with the organization was only short lived as he was ejected from his town by the officials following a rift between a competitor radio station owner (Pir Saif ur Rehman, founder of a militant organization, Ansar ul Islam) and his involvement in different violent cases in the district (mainly violent clashes between his organization and that of Pir Saif ur Rehmanís, leading to destruction of infrastructure and causalities of innocent civilians in the area). Since then, he is into hiding[2].

Current Leader: Mangal Bagh
Also referred to as Haji Amir Mangal Bagh, Mangal belongs to Bara Tehsil of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. A driver by profession, Mangal was a confidant of Mufti Munir and was handed over the charge of the group by Munir after Munir was ousted by officials of the tribe for inciting hostility in the region. Mangal has been running the operations of the outfit since[3].

Other Leaders
ē Haleem Shah- Senior Leader
ē Haji Zar Khan- Chief Spokesperson[4]
No significant information regarding both these leaders is available.
 

School of Thought  

Deobandi

Deobandi interpretation states that a Muslimís first loyalty is to his religion and then to the country of which he is a resident or citizen. Its practioners also have an obligation to go to any country to wage jihad to protect the Muslims of that country. In other words, a global understanding of their role. The Deobandi interpretation of Islam is widely practiced in Pakistan. They also share the Talibanís restrictive view of women and regard Shiites as non Muslims and are also against Ahmadis[5].
 

Structure of the Organization  

From the information acquired, the outfit consists of around 180,000 members and volunteers and different members are responsible for carrying out different activities[6].

 

Financial Resources  

LI mainly relies on the profits of smuggled goods from across the border. In 2009, after security forces cut of their routes, groupís revenue crippled immensely[7]. Moreover, LI also funds itself via kidnapping for ransom[8].

 

Status  

Disbanded and Active[9].
Lashkar e Islam was proscribed by the Pakistan interior ministry on June 30th 2008 however the outfit still continues to operate despite the ban. Their last incidence was July 6th 2010 bomb attack in used car market in Tirrah valley, Khyber Agency that claimed six innocent lives[10].
 

Recruitment Tools and Demographics  

Little is known about their recruitment sources, however from different news stories, it can be established that the outfit acquires recruits from Likeminded tribes in and around Khyber Agency (Tirah Valley)[11]. No information is available about the specific tribes. When Mufti Munir was in charge of the outfit, the group also used to acquire members with the help of Muftiís radio channel.

Ideology   Implementation of Shariah law in Khyber Agency.
Areas of Operation   LI operates mostly in Tirah valley, Khyber Agency-Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) [12]
Linkages   No information available
Resources    
     
Tools   Print Media:
According to the information acquired, LI is not active on print media.

Audio/Video:
Not available

Social Media:
LI is active on social media. It has pages on Facebook and also active on Twitter.
Av
ailable-Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lashkar-e-Islam/132895393416262?nr 
Twitter-
https://twitter.com/IslamLong 

 

    Websites:
Not available

Name Variations

Following are different name variations that the group is referred to:

ē Army of Islam

ē Lashkar e Islami
 

Who they are

Lashkar-e-Islam is a militant Islamic outfit that is primarily concerned with the execution of Sharia law within the district Baara- Khyber Agency area of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) in Pakistan. The group is accused of having contacts with another militant organization Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, however the group to date has been denying any such link with TTP. LI has been carrying out violent activities in the area since its inception in 2004. LIís chiefly targets its rival group, Ansar-ul-Islam (AI) for domination in the area[13]. Moreover, LI also targets sectarian minorities such as Barelvis, Shias as well as religious minorities such as Christians etc along with Army and State officials. In 2008, members of the outfit kidnapped 15-20 Christians and held them for weeks before finally releasing them after negotiations with the local government. The group also frequently target civilians as an attempt to put in force Sharia on the local population. The outfit commonly uses FM radio sermons to provoke the population against minorities. They kidnap people for ransom and to get control of firearms etc[14]
  
 

History

LI was established in 2004 by Mufti Munir Shakir- owner of an illegal local radio Fm station. Shakir at that time was facing rising violence between his followers and those of a competitor radio program run by Pir Saif ur-Rahman. Pir reacted by creating his own militant outfit called Ansar ul-Islam. The mushrooming of new groups like Ansar ul Islam increased violence in the area and for this reason, both the leaders of LI and Ansar ul Islam were eventually driven out by tribal officials. Charge of LI was handed over to Mangal Bagh, a driver by profession and a more militant Islamist than even Shakir. Bagh after taking the reins stepped up attacks against Ansar ul Islam and against Pakistan military operating in the Baara district[15].

In 2008, LI made a pact with Pakistani forces to stop operation against government personnel in the Khyber Agency on a condition that all their members should be released from prisons. LI was allowed to operate within limits in the area as a result of the agreement. Unfortunately, this pact was only short lived as LI and forces began fighting again in 2009. Since then, State forces have intensified their operation against the outfit causing many of the members of the outfit to go into hiding including the leader of the outfit, Mangal Bagh[16].
  

Organization's Message

Lashkar-e-Islam (LI) is a Sunni-Deobandi Islamist organization that aims at implementing Sharia within their constituency- the Khyber Agency area of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) in Pakistan[17].
 

Target Audience

LI usually targets Tribesmen living in Tirah valley of Khyber Agency in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). According to the group, it has over 180,000 volunteers in Khyber Agency and the number is increasing with time [18]

Tools

Lashkar e Islam is active on the social media. They have a Facebook page as well as a Twitter account where they actively interact with their followers. The Facebook page has roughly forty (40) members and doesnít apparently contain lot of information regarding the operations of the outfit. The Twitter account also has a few members (total of 9). The followers include activists of other extremist group such Al-Dawat-Islamia.

   
 

Splinter Groups

N/A

 

References:


[1] Institute for the Study of Violent Groups. Lashkar-e-Islam. Retrieved on: September 10th 2013. Retrieved from: http://vkb.isvg.org/Wiki/Groups/Lashkar-e-Islam

[2] ibid

[3] ibid

[4] ibid

[5] Deobandi Islam. Retrieved on: September 10, 2013. Retrieved from: http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/intro/islam-deobandi.htm 

[6] Institute for the Study of Violent Groups. Lashkar-e-Islam. Retrieved on: September 10th 2013. Retrieved from: http://vkb.isvg.org/Wiki/Groups/Lashkar-e-Islam

[7] ibid

[8] MAPPING MILITANT ORGANIZATIONS. Lashkar-e-Islam. Retrieved on: September 10, 2013. Retrieved from:

http://www.stanford.edu/group/mappingmilitants/cgi-bin/groups/view/445

[9] ibid

[10] ibid

[11] The Express Tribune. Lashkar-e-Islam asks tribe to offer recruits. Retrieved on: September 10, 2013, Retrieved from:http://tribune.com.pk/story/492882/lashkar-e-islam-asks-tribe-to-offer-recruits/

[12] MAPPING MILITANT ORGANIZATIONS. Lashkar-e-Islam. Retrieved on: September 10, 2013. Retrieved from:

http://www.stanford.edu/group/mappingmilitants/cgi-bin/groups/view/445

[13] Institute for the Study of Violent Groups. Lashkar-e-Islam. Retrieved on: September 10th 2013. Retrieved from: http://vkb.isvg.org/Wiki/Groups/Lashkar-e-Islam

[14] MAPPING MILITANT ORGANIZATIONS. Lashkar-e-Islam. Retrieved on: September 10, 2013. Retrieved from:

http://www.stanford.edu/group/mappingmilitants/cgi-bin/groups/view/445

[15] Institute for the Study of Violent Groups. Lashkar-e-Islam. Retrieved on: September 10th 2013. Retrieved from: http://vkb.isvg.org/Wiki/Groups/Lashkar-e-Islam

[16] ibid

[17] Institute for the Study of Violent Groups. Lashkar-e-Islam. Retrieved on: September 10th 2013. Retrieved from: http://vkb.isvg.org/Wiki/Groups/Lashkar-e-Islam

[18] Lashkar-e-Islam claims membership of 180,000 volunteers in Khyber Agency South Asian Terrorism Portal 18 April 2008.

[19] Pakistan's islamist militia Ansar Ul-Islam and Its fight for influence". Retrieved on: September 9th 2013.

[20] Sharia Law Islamic Sharia Law. Sharia Law. Retrieved on: September 10th 2013. Retrieved from:

http://www.billionbibles.org/sharia/sharia-law.html