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US designates Lashkar e-Taiba’s Abdul Rehman, responsible for attacks on India, as global terrorist

A longtime member of the US designated Foreign Terrorist Organisation (FTO) and Lashkar e-Taiba (LeT), Dakhil was an operational leader for LeT’s attacks in India between 1997 and 2001

world Updated: Aug 01, 2018 00:03 IST
Yashwant Raj
Yashwant Raj
HT Correspondent, Washington
Lashkar e-Taiba,Abdul Rehman,Specially Designated Global Terrorist
New recruits being trained under the authority of Abdul Rehman, who claimed they were part of the Lashkar-e-Taiba Islamist militant group.(Getty Images File)

The United States on Tuesday named Abdul Rehman al-Dakhil, a senior commander of Lashkar-e-Taiba who carried out attacks in India, a specially designated global terrorist and sanctioned two other Pakistanis who work as financial facilitators for the banned Pakistan-based group.

The fund raisers are Hameed-ul-Hassan and Abdul Jabbar, who work with Falah-e-Insaniyat Foundation (FIF), a front for the LeT. All three are Pakistani nationals, according to separate announcements by the US state and treasury departments. “Today’s designations seek to deny Dakhil the resources to plan and carry out terrorist attacks,” the state department said.

“These Lashkar-e Tayyiba (sic) financial facilitators are responsible for collecting, transporting and distributing funds to support this terrorist group and provide salaries to extremists,” said Sigal Mandelker, treasury undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence.

“Treasury’s designations not only aim to expose and shut down Lashkar-e-Tayyiba’s financial network, but also to curtail its ability to raise funds to carry out violent terrorist attacks.”

As a consequence of the designations, all properties and interests owned by the men and subject to US jurisdiction will be blocked and Americans will be prohibited from any transactions with them, or sending them funds.

The latest designations came days after the US expressed “deep reservations” over the participation of terrorist-affiliated individuals in Pakistan’s general elections on July 25. Candidates backed by the Jamaat-ud Dawah (JuD) contested the polls through the Allahu Akbar Tehreek, while the Sunni extremist group Ahl-e-Sunnat Wal Jamaat also fielded candidates but neither party won a single seat.

The US suspended nearly $2 billion dollars in security aid for Pakistan at the start of 2018 and the Financial Action Task Force added the country to its grey list in June for failing to counter terror financing. LeT and its fronts such as JuD and FIF have been on the list of designated terror groups of the US and the UN.

In April, the US added Milli Muslim League (MML), a political party floated by LeT founder Hafiz Saeed to mainstream the group, and Tehreek-e- Azadi Kashmir (TAJK), as fronts of LeT.

The state department described Dakhil as a long-time LeT member and an operational leader for terror attacks by the group in India between 1997 and 2001, after which he shifted to West Asia. He was captured in Iraq in 2004 by British forces and spent 10 years in US custody in Iraq and Afghanistan before being transferred to Pakistan in 2014, the state department said.

After his release from Pakistani custody, the date of which could not be ascertained, he returned to work for LeT. Dakhil became divisional commander for Jammu in 2016 and as of this year, the state department said, he was a senior commander of the group. Hassan was described to have been working for FIF since late 2016.

He collected funds for distribution in Syria. He worked with his brother and others to “transport funds to Pakistan on behalf of LeT”.Hassan has an active Twitter account, which identifies him as the leader of JuD in PoK. Jabbar raises money for LeT and distributes salaries for the group. He has worked in the group’s finance department since 2000. From 2016, he has been associated with FIF as well.

First Published: Jul 31, 2018 20:59 IST