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US freezes assets of 3 Pakistani terrorists

The United States has slapped sanctions against three of Pakistan's most wanted terrorists associated with Lashkar-e Jhangvi (LJ) and Jaish-e Mohammed (JEM) held responsible for deadly attacks in India, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

world Updated: Dec 03, 2010 11:43 IST

The United States has slapped sanctions against three of Pakistan's most wanted terrorists associated with Lashkar-e Jhangvi (LJ) and Jaish-e Mohammed (JEM) held responsible for deadly attacks in India, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The three terrorists designated on Thursday by the US Treasury Department were LJ senior leader Amanullah Afridi, LJ chief operational commander Mati ur-Rehman and JEM senior leader Abdul Rauf Azhar.

"Today's actions strike at the heart of two terrorist organizations responsible for deadly attacks against innocent civilians in Pakistan, Afghanistan and India," said Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Stuart Levey. "All three of today's targets are actively involved in leading or planning operations on behalf of these dangerous terrorist organizations."

Thursday's designations freeze any assets the three may have under US jurisdiction and prohibits US persons from engaging in any transactions with them.

Pakistan based JEM, which has conducted attacks in India and Afghanistan, was designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) by the UN 1267 Committee and by the State Department in 2001.

As a senior leader of JEM, 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.

"In 2008 Azhar was assigned to organize suicide attacks in India. He was also involved with JEM's political wing and has served as a JEM official involved with training camps," it said.

Pakistan-based LJ, which has conducted numerous attacks in Pakistan and is the group responsible for the January 2002 kidnapping and killing of US journalist Daniel Pearl, was similarly designated an FTO by the UN 1267 Committee and the State Department in 2003.

LJ chief 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 Qaeda operations, trained suicide bombers and trained the assassin of Pakistani cleric Allama Hassan Turabi."

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 Qaeda, the Treasury said.

"In September 2009 he was identified as a planning director for Al Qaeda 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. 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.