WASHINGTON: The United States (US) on Wednesday designated two Pakistan-based groups 'with links to the Taliban' as global terrorist threats.
As “Specially Designated Global Terrorists”, US citizens are forbidden from associating with the Tariq Gidar Group (TGG) and the Jamaat ul Dawa al-Qu’ran (JDQ), said a statement released by US State Department.
"Any assets owned by the groups in places under US jurisdiction will be frozen, and US law enforcement will be authorised to investigate their activity."
According to the statement, the TGG is linked to the Tehreek-i-Taliban — the Pakistani Taliban — and is based in Darra Adam Khel.
The faction, US officials believe, was responsible for the December 2014 massacre at the Army Public School in Peshawar that left more than 130 children dead.
The TGG is led by Umar Mansoor, who is said to also have ordered the January 2016 attack on a university in Charsadda that left more than 20 dead.
US State Department also says that the TGG was behind the 2008 kidnapping and beheading of Polish geologist Piotr Stanczak in Attock, in northern Pakistan.
The second group, the JDQ, is said to be based in Peshawar but has sworn allegiance to the late leader of the Afghan Taliban, Mullah Omar.
In addition to this link to the Afghan movement, the State Department says JDQ has alliances with Al-Qaeda and Lashkar-e-Taiba.
Washington blames the group for the 2010 kidnapping of British aid worker Linda Norgrove in Afghanistan.
Norgrove died after being wounded in the explosion of a grenade thrown by a US Navy SEAL commando during a failed rescue attempt.