WASHINGTON: The United States on Wednesday further tightened its grip on Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) by adding yet another of its aliases to its “terrorists list”.
In a separate notification, also issued on Wednesday, the US Department of Treasury also added two senior LeT leaders — Muhammad Sarwar and Shahid Mahmood — to its list of “declared terrorists.”
In a statement the US State Department recalled that it in December 2001, it designated LeT as a “Foreign Terrorist Organisation.”
“Since the original designation occurred, LeT has repeatedly changed its name and created front organisations… to avoid sanctions,” the statement noted.
Soon after the group assumes a new name, the State Department adds it to its list of terrorist outfits. “To that effect, Al-Muhammadia Students (AMS) is the student wing of LeT. Founded in 2009, AMS is a subsidiary of LeT and has worked with senior LeT leaders to organise recruiting courses and other activities for youth,” said the latest notification.
The notification puts a “prohibition against knowingly providing, or attempting or conspiring to provide, material support or resources to, or engaging in transactions with this organisation.” It also blocks all property and interests the group or the individuals might have within the US jurisdiction.
In the other designation, the US Treasury Department identifies Muhammad Sarwar as a senior LeT official in Lahore for over 10 years who has held various leadership roles in the group, including his current position as LeT’s emir for Lahore.
Sarwar maintains relationships with LeT’s most senior leaders. Between 2012 and 2013, Sarwar worked with LeT’s foreign affairs chief Hafiz Abdul Rahman Makki, and in early 2013, Makki asked Sarwar for money to pay for his travel within Pakistan.
The US notification pointed out that Sarwar has been directly involved in LeT fundraising activities and uses the formal financial system in Pakistan to raise and move funds on behalf of LeT. In 2008, Sarwar led delegations of businessmen to LeT facilities for the purpose of soliciting donations, and as of mid-2009, Sarwar was one of two officials who headed LeT’s finance wing in Lahore.