WASHINGTON, Aug 30: The US Department of Treasury has placed 10 Lashkar-e-Taiba leaders and founding members on its list of designated terrorists, hoping to persuade Pakistan to further tighten its grip on the LeT.
The group’s main leader, Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, is already on US and UN lists of wanted terrorists.
“Zafar Iqbal and Hafiz Abdul Salam Bhuttavi are two of LeT’s most significant leaders,” said US Under-secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David S. Cohen. “Over the past 20 years, Iqbal and Bhuttavi have been responsible for fundraising, recruitment, and indoctrination of operatives.”
Mr Cohen explained that by targeting the core of LeT’s leadership, Washington “aims to degrade its ability to facilitate its terrorist activities”.
The US Department of Treasury identified LeT as a Pakistan-based terrorist group with links to the Al Qaeda network and its former leader Osama bin Laden.
The department noted that the group was responsible for the November 2008 Mumbai attacks and July 2006 Mumbai train bombings.
The US Department of State placed LeT on its list of Foreign Terrorist Organisations in December 2001. In May 2005, the United Nations also designated it a terrorist outfit.
In April 2006, the US added Jamaatud Dawa to its list of terrorist groups as an alias of LeT. In December 2008, the UN also placed JuD in the same category.
Eight other LeT leaders placed on the US list of specially designated persons with links to terrorism are: Maulana Amir Hamza of Jamia Masjid Al Qadsia, Chauburji Chowk, Lahore; Sajid Mir, also from Lahore; Abdullah Mujahid from Bhalwal in Sargodha; Abdullah Muntazir from Abbottabad; Talha Saeed of Johar Town, Lahore, (originally from Sargodha); Qari Muhammad Yaqoob from Bahawalpur; Hafiz Khalid Walid from Lahore and Ahmed Yaqub Ghani from Faisalabad.