ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, February 04, 2007
Vol. 41 - No 36

Possible links between LTTE and al-Qaeda

From Neville de Silva in London

For the second year running a prestigious international institute has highlighted possible links between the LTTE and al-Qaeda, the terrorist organisation allegedly responsible for the 9/11 attacks on the United States and other bombings.

The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), the London-based think tank has referred to links between the two organisations both of which are banned as terrorist organisations in several countries.

In its latest issue of the Military Balance 2007 which analyses important world developments and the military hardware of state and non-state actors, IISS however talks of possible commercial links between the LTTE and al-Qaeda and makes no reference to any military connections between them.

IISS was the first international think-tank to publicly announce LTTE’s acquisition of air power. Three years ago the IISS in its Military Balance reported that the LTTE had acquired light aircraft and helicopters.

Although IISS does not explain what the possible “commercial links” might be, analysts here believe that there are several possibilities.

“It is possible that the LTTE is using its merchant ships to help transport weapons from al-Qaeda to its cells or support groups in other countries,” one analyst told The Sunday Times.

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Copyright 2007 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.