The Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) is the most important and the most lethal jihadi organisation in Pakistan today. It is also probably the greatest threat to regional stability.

Formally created in 1990, led by Hafiz Mohammed Syed, the LeT had first appeared in 1985 as Jamaat ud Dawa. Its first front was Afghanistan where it facilitated the participation of Pakistani followers of the Ahl-e-Hadith tradition in the jihad against the Soviet invasion. It later shifted focus to Jammu and Kashmir and mainland India and is held responsible for the Mumbai attack of 26 November 2008 that killed almost 200 people.

The LeT holds preaching and jihad to be the two essential components of Islam. It has long offered rhetorical, financial and training support to other extremist organisations, including al-Qaeda. Its links with the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence are well known.

Frederic Grare, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Director and Senior Associate, South Asia Program