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US to freeze assets of 4 members of militant group

May 28, 2008

WASHINGTON, May 27: The United States Treasury said on Tuesday it had decided to freeze the assets of four prominent members of a militant Pakistan-based group with alleged links to Al Qaeda.

The four are leaders of Lashkar-i-Taiba (LiT), an outfit that has often claimed staging attacks on the Indian military in occupied Kashmir since 1993, the department said. The State Department had designated it a foreign terrorist organisation in 2001.

The group’s “transnational nature makes it crucial for governments worldwide to do all they can to stifle LiT’s fund-raising and operations”, said Stuart Levey, Treasury’s undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence.

Any assets these men have under US jurisdiction will be frozen, and Americans will be prohibited from doing business with them, Treasury said.

The four included Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, described by Treasury as the LiT chief who has played a major role in the organisation’s operational and fund-raising activities.

It named the others as Pakistan-born Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, the chief of operations; Haji Mohammad Ashraf, the chief of finance, and India-born Mahmoud Mohammad Ahmed Bahaziq, described as the main LiT financier in the 1980s and 1990s.—Reuters