Intelligence inputs say Laskhar-e-Taiba (LeT) has chosen
Zeenat-ul-Islam alias Alqama, as its new commander. Islam is the first local
face to head Lashkar operations in Kashmir. He hails from Sugan Zanipura in
Shopian in South Kashmir.
He was elevated after LeT commander Abu Ismail - the
mastermind behind the July 10 Amarnath attack, which killed seven people, was
killed in an encounter by the security forces. Abu Ismail, a Pakistani
terrorist, was made chief of Lashkar in the Valley last month after Abu Dujana,
another Pakistani terrorist and Lashkar commander was killed by the security
According to the reports, Islam is 28-years-old. He was
recruited in November 2015, and is considered an expert with Improvised
Explosive Devices (IEDs).
He is one of the main accused in the Shopian attack which
took place on February 23, 2017. Terrorists ambushed army patrol in Mulu
Chitragam area of the district which left three soldiers and a woman dead.
He was arrested for the first time in 2008, and was booked
under the Public Safety Act (PSA) for being a member of Al-Badr. He was also in
touch with different terror outfits and was working as an over ground worker
for their members, arranging them food and supplies.
After his release in 2011, he initially worked with his
father and got married before joining LeT. His father is an Imam (muezzin) in
the local mosque. He completed his Bachelor of Arts from a local college.
Zeenat-ul-Islam is among the five most wanted terrorists by
the security forces in the Valley.
The list includes Zakir Rashid Bhatt alias Musa who defected
from Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) and is now heading Ansar Gazhwat-ul Hind, Al
Qaeda's India branch; Reyaz AH Naikoo alias Zubair, tech savvy HM commander;
Wasim AH, alias Osama, another LeT commander from Shopian who was in Burhan
Wani's group; and Abu Hamas, a Pak terrorist who is believed to head
Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) in India.
Indian security forces are on a hunt to eliminate terrorists
from Kashmir and Abu Ismail was the fourth Lashkar commander killed this year -
Abu Ismail, Abu Dujana, Junait Mattoo and Bashir Lashkari. Major HM terrorists
hunted down this year include Sabzar Ahmad Bhat, Sajad Ahmed Gilkar and Yasin
According to South Asia Terrorism Portal, since 2013, over
600 terrorists have been eliminated from the Valley.