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TAMIL TIGERS RECEIVED ARMS FROM AND SHARED EXPERTISE WITH TALIBAN RULED AFGHANISTAN

By Walter Jayawardhana reporting from Los Angeles

A special report submitted to the Canadian Security Intelligence Service by a terrorism expert has revealed that Taliban ruled Afghanistan remains one of the major areas of arms procurement for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) since its very inception.

Issued 18 months before the September 11 terrorist attack on the twin towers of New York's World Trade Center and Washington DC's Pentagon the report speculated the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam was able to acquire deadly and accurate US-made Stinger missiles from Afghanistan.

The report written by Professor Peter Chalk , a terrorism expert from Australia's Queensland University, said curbing the LTTE's transnational network will require concerted international collaboration. "LTTE operations," said Chalk , " are global , they necessarily require a global response."

Chalk warned, "To narrowly view the group's activities within the context of a single state will provide a skewed, partial analysis that will be detrimental not only to Sri Lanka but also the international community in general."

In many reports on international terrorism a great attention has been focused on the LTTE's chief arms procurement officer Tharmalingam Shanmugam Kumaran alias Kumaran Padmanadhan or simply KP, as he is known popularly among colleagues in the terrorist group. He reportedly visited Afghanistan last May on a mission not only to procure arms but also to further extend training to share the LTTE's expertise on suicide missions, speculate many analysts.

The expertise is such , the LTTE is the only group to have successfully assassinated two world leaders-Rajiv Gandhi of India in 1991 and Ranasinghe Premadasa of Sri Lanka in 1993 using suicide bombers, it has been pointed out. Chalk wrote in his report, "In both instances , the Tigers carried out extremely well-planned and orchestrated suicide strikes that successfully defeated the tightest security cordons of the Indian and Sri Lankan intelligence services."

"The Black Tigers are widely recognized to be the most lethal suicide unit anywhere in the world. Its members employ the very latest in "bomb suit" technology with a number of having allegedly received glider, micro-light and speed boat training in Europe and South East Asia for future kamikaze strikes."

A Canadian Security Intelligence Service report titled, "International Terrorism: Threats to Canada", mentions KP's name in the fraudulent use of Travel documentation section. The report says: " The Tigers Chief Procurement Officer , Tharmalingam Shanmugam, is known to travel internationally using Canadian and other forged passports." Other reports said he has more than twenty passports to his name to travel round the globe.

Believed to be based in Thailand KP visited Afghanistan through Dubai and Karachchi.

At least one LTTE expert is believed to have trained the Osama bin Laden led Al-Queda men recently in Afghanistan. The Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Abu Sayyal group , two groups close to Al-Queda have been trained by the LTTE in the latter half of the 1990's, reports say.

With globalization, Chalk rote, events that affect the affairs of one state can have important implications for governments both regionally and globally. The movement of refugees , arms transfers, terrorism, money laundering, and drug trafficking - all of which are by products of the LTTE's war in Sri Lanka- have repeatedly demonstrated their potential to disrupt national and international security in the post-cold war era. Chalk concluded by warning, "By appeasing groups such as the LTTE, Western states are helping to undermine not only their viability of their own borders, but also the integrity of the global system that they claim to represent."



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