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US slaps sanctions against JeM,Lashkar top leadership

These terrorist outfits are responsible for deadly attacks in Pakistan,Afghanistan and India.

US has slapped sanctions against three Pakistan-based key terrorists leaders,including Abdul Rauf Azhar the top commander of Jaish-e-Mohammed in India,who in 2008 was assigned to organise suicide attacks in the country.

The Treasury Department also slapped sanctions on two other terrorists — Lashkar-e Jhangvi (LJ) senior leader Amanullah Afridi for acting for or on behalf of LJ and LJ chief operational commander Mati ur-Rehman for acting for or on behalf of LJ and Al-Qaida.

“Today’s actions strike at the heart of two terrorist organisations responsible for deadly attacks against innocent civilians in Pakistan,Afghanistan and India,” said Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Stuart Levey on Thursday.

“All three of today’s targets are actively involved in leading or planning operations on behalf of these dangerous terrorist organisations,” he said.

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Both LJ and JeM are Pakistan-based terrorist organisations.

LJ has conducted numerous attacks in Pakistan and is the group responsible for the January 2002 kidnapping and killing of US journalist Daniel Pearl,the Treasury said.

LJ was designated by the United States pursuant to Executive Order (EO) 13224 in January 2003,by the UN 1267 Committee in February 2003 and was also designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) by the State Department in 2003.

JeM,which has conducted attacks in India and Afghanistan,was designated in October 2001 by the United States pursuant to E.O. 13224,by the UN 1267 Committee and by the State Department as an FTO in 2001.

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Today’s designations were taken pursuant to E.O. 13224,which prohibits US persons from engaging in any transactions with these individuals and freezes any assets the designees have under US jurisdiction.

“Abdul Rauf Azhar is a senior leader of JeM. As a senior leader of this terrorist organisation,Azhar has urged Pakistanis to engage in militant activities,” the Treasury said.

He has served as JEM’s acting leader in 2007,as one of JeM’s most senior commanders in India,and as JeM’s

intelligence coordinator.

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In 2008,Azhar was assigned to organise suicide attacks in India. He was also involved with JeM’s political wing and has served as a JeM official involved with training camps,the Treasury said.

The chief of LJ and one of Pakistan’s most wanted terrorists,Amanullah Afridi has been a key figure in directing terrorist-related activities of LJ for several years,the Treasury said.

As of November 2009,Afridi was the leader of a Karachi-based LJ group and,as of June 2009,the chief of LJ.

Afridi is involved in numerous terrorist activities in Pakistan. He has prepared and provided suicide jackets for al-Qaida operations,trained suicide bombers and trained the assassin of Pakistani cleric Allama Hassan Turabi,it said.

One of Pakistan’s most wanted terrorists,Mati ur-Rehman is the chief operational commander of LJ and has also worked on behalf of al-Qaida.

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In September 2009,he was identified as a planning director for al-Qaida and was linked to the August 2006 plot to destroy US-bound British aircraft.

“As a leader of LJ,Rehman has been involved in multiple terrorist activities. He has led militants seeking to carry out attacks in Pakistan and was involved with a militant training camp in Pakistan,” the Treasury said.

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“Rehman has also been implicated in plots or attacks against a former Pakistani president,a former Pakistani prime minister,and the US consulate in Karachi,” it said.

First published on: 03-12-2010 at 01:16:03 pm
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