WASHINGTON: 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 organize 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 organizations responsible for deadly attacks against innocent civilians in Pakistan, Afghanistan and India,” said Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Stuart Levey yesterday.
“All three of today’s targets are actively involved in leading or planning operations on behalf of these dangerous terrorist organizations,” he said.
Both LJ and JEM are Pakistan-based terrorist organizations.
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.
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 organization, 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, the Treasury said.