Even though Nepal is not a safe haven for international terrorists, the United States has cautioned India that Nepal could pose a threat. A report from the US State Department was made public last week warning India that members of extremist groups could transit from Nepal. The report claimed that Muhammad Omar Madni, a member of the terrorist group Lashkar-e Tayyiba (LT), traveled through Nepal en route to New Delhi in June of last year.
“The large ungoverned space along the Nepal/Indian border exacerbates this vulnerability, as do security shortfalls at Tribhuvan Airport, Nepal’s international airport,” the report says.
However, the report has given Nepal a clean sheet on international money laundering, saying, “There were no indications that the country was used as an international money laundering center. There were no prosecutions or arrests for money laundering in 2009.”
Regarding the bombing of a Catholic Church in May, the report said that it was conducted by the Nepalese Defense Army (NDA), a Hindu extremist group that was responsible for shooting a Catholic priest and bombing a mosque in 2008. The leader of this group has since been arrested and their activities appear to have ceased, the report said.
- Rajneesh Bhandari