Mr. Saeed and another cleric, Zafar Iqbal Chaudhry, formed Lashkar-e-Taiba in Afghanistan’s Kunar province in 1988. Both were professors of Islamic studies at the University of Engineering and Technology in Lahore.
Their mentor was Abdullah Azzam, a Palestinian professor who came to Pakistan during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan from 1979 to 1988 to organize and wage jihad against the Soviet army. Consequently, he persuaded bin Laden to come to Pakistan and join the jihad.
Mr. Saeed and bin Laden then developed a close relationship. Both belong to the Wahhabi school of Islamic thought. Only 15 percent of Pakistanis claim adherence to the tenets of the sect.
Bin Laden and Mr. Saeed were staunch followers of Azzam and fully endorsed his ideology of pan-Islamism and global jihad. After Azzam was killed in Peshawar in 1989, bin Laden formed al Qaeda in the same northwestern Pakistani city, which is the capital of Khyber-Pakhtoonkhwa province.
Azzam was said to be the ideologue for the Palestinian militant group Hamas.
“Keeping in view the origin and ideological base of LeT, it can never be ruled out that it would not pursue global militant and terrorist agenda,” said Imran Khan, a Peshawar-based analyst.
“However, there are at [the] moment very few indications so far that the group has really become a global security threat. In my view, I think even if the group wants to, it does not have the wherewithal to launch a global terror war.”