In a move that vindicates India’s concerns over the insidious influence of trans-national terror networks, the United States State Department has designated Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), the suspected mastermind of 26/11 Mumbai terror carnage, as a “front organisation of Lashkar-e-Taiba’s (LeT).
Concurrently, the US Department of the Treasury targeted the financial and leadership networks of LeT by designating Pakistan based Nazir Ahmad Chaudhry (Ahmad) and Muhammad Hussein Gill as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs) for acting for, or on behalf of LeT. This move will freeze any assets they may hold in the United States and will bar Americans from conducting transactions with them.
The US State Department retained LeT on the Foreign Terrorist Organisation (FTO) list. Updating the list, the State Department has added Jama’at-ud-Dawa, Al-Anfal Trust, Tehrik-e-Hurmat-e-Rasool and Tehrik-e-Tahafuz Qibla Awwal as front organisations and aliases of LeT. The State Department originally designated LeT as an FTO in December 2001.
“In targeting Lashkar-e-Taiba leadership, today’s action demonstrates our unrelenting commitment to combating terrorism by disrupting terrorist groups’ financial activities,” said the Under Secretary of Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David S Cohen.
The LeT is widely held responsible for the November 2008 terrorist attack in Mumbai, which killed 166 people. The US State Department also confirmed that LeT was also responsible for the May 23 attack on the Indian consulate in Herat. Afghan President Hamid Karzai had told a media network that the LeT was responsible for the terrorist attack.
The group’s leader, Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, is also a designated terrorist. India has accused Hafiz Saeed of masterminding the 2008 Mumbai attack and has repeatedly urged Pakistan to bring him to justice after handing over evidence against him.
He reportedly lives freely in Lahore under the Pakistani state protection and continues to spew anti-India venom at rallies and appear on television
A spokesman for Jamaat-ud-Dawa said the group was “carefully studying” the statement and would respond soon.
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