Scotsman, LeT man linked to Lakhvi among those sanctioned by US, Saudi

  • Rezaul H Laskar, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Apr 01, 2016 22:26 IST
Lashkar-e-Taiba operations chief Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, accused of masterminding the 2008 Mumbai attacks, has benefited from Saudi Arabia-based Safarash’s financial support.

A Scotsman who moved to Pakistan and helped raise funds for the Lashkar-e-Taiba and an operative who provided financial support to commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi are among individuals and organisations jointly sanctioned by the US and Saudi Arabia.

In a rare move, the US and Saudi Arabia imposed sanctions targeting the entities accused of funding and backing the Pakistan-based LeT, al Qaeda and Taliban.

The move assumes additional significance because it came two days before Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s highly anticipated visit to Saudi Arabia, where he is expected to ink several trade agreements and firm up security cooperation.

This is only the second time the US and Saudi Arabia have coordinated their actions to disrupt the finances of terror groups in South Asia.

Here is a closer look at the four individuals and two organisations against whom the sanctions have been imposed to disrupt the fundraising and support networks of the LeT, al Qaeda and Taliban.

James Alexander McLintock and Al-Rahmah Welfare Organisation (RWO): The US treasury department has said McLintock, a Scotsman who converted to Islam in his twenties, had been providing financial support to LeT through charities he controls in Pakistan and other countries. He was named a Specially Designated Global Terrorist while his Pakistan-based Al-Rahmah Welfare Organisation was designated for providing financial, material or technological support to LeT, al Qaeda and the Taliban.

McLintock, now believed to be 52, is president and CEO of RWO, described by the US as a front for al Qaeda.RWO has provided funding to extremists for jihad under the “false guise of helping orphans”. McLintock used RWO and the “cover of providing stipends to Afghan orphans to finance the Taliban’s militant activities” in Afghanistan. Between April 2011 and April 2012, RWO received approximately $180,000 from donors in Britain.

Abdul Aziz Nuristani and Jamia Asariya Madrassa: Nuristani was designated for providing financial, material or technological support to Let, al Qaeda and Taliban. He heads the Peshawar-based Jamia Asariya. The LeT and other groups have used Jamia Asariya as a financial conduit to bring money into Pakistan for several years. Nuristani has travelled to the Middle East to raise money for Jamia Asariya and Al-Turaz Trust, an alias for Al-Furqan Foundation Welfare Trust that was sanctioned by the US and Saudi Arabia in April 2015.

Jamia Asariya has distributed thousands of dollars in supplies to LeT camps in Pakistan, the US treasury department said. Nuristani’s affiliation with the LeT dates back to 2007. He was previously an LeT official in Pakistan’s Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province and recruited madrassa students to become fighters.

Naveed Qamar: Naveed Qamar has held several influential positions within the LeT and supported the terror group’s fundraising activities since 2004. As of January 2015, Qamar had been identified as a leader of the LeT, the US treasury department said.

In addition to running an LeT training camp and supervising the group’s commanders in Karachi, he was the group’s acting coordinator for Sindh province in 2008. Qamar has also been linked to the Jamaat-ud Dawah (JuD) and helped organise trips for Pakistani businessmen to LeT training camps.

In 2010, Qamar coordinated funds collected by senior members of Falah-e-Insaniyat Foundation (FIF), another front for the LeT, while organising logistics and funding for mujahideen planning attacks against Indian targets.

Muhammad Ijaz Safarash: Saudi Arabia-based Safarash has funded and provided logistical support to the LeT. He has been an LeT operative for several years, acquiring travel documents and facilitating financial transfers in Saudi Arabia. As recently as late 2015, Safarash sent hundreds of thousands of dollars to the LeT and facilitated the travel of its members from Pakistan to Saudi Arabia. LeT operations chief Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, accused of masterminding the 2008 Mumbai attacks, has benefited from Safarash’s financial support.

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