Al-Qaeda link to Tamil Tigers?

The Tamil Tiger rebels launched their first air strike March 26, hitting a Sri Lankan air base near Colombo. They Defense Ministry said three airmen were killed and 16 wounded, but the military’s newly-purchased MIG fighter jets were not damaged. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) said the raid, carried out with two planes, was aimed at interrupting the “indiscriminative bombing of the Tamil areas” by the Sri Lankan government. LTTE guerillas attacked the same base in 2001, destroying half of the Sri Lankan fleet. (Asia News, March 26) In India P. Nedumaran, leader of the Tamilar Desiya Iyakkam of Tamil Nadu, said the LTTE air attack has brought “endless joy and happiness to Tamils all over the world.” (Asian Tribune) Meanwhile, Sri Lanka’s pro-government LankaWeb cites claims on the Counterterrorism Blog that the LTTE sold stolen Norwegian passports to al-Qaeda operatives. Writes Counterterrorism Blog’s self-appointed “expert” Aaron Mannes:

This is not implausible. Rohan Gunaratna (currently head of the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research in Singapore) wrote in Inside Al Qaeda: Global Network of Terror, that the LTTE provided forged passports for Ramzi Yousef (specialists close to the WTC 1 trials dispute this assertion). Also, while allied with the Pakistani government in the late 1980s and early 1990s the LTTE smuggled weapons from Pakistan-based Islamists to their counterparts in the Philippines.

Sorry, but we think it is rather implausible. Hindu extremists cooperating with Muslim extremists? Not to mention that it all seems to be based on one “expert” quoting another…

See our last posts on Sri Lanka and the 1993 WTC attack.