The US has designated two Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba top leaders as “global terrorists” and also the group’s student wing Al-Muhammadia Students a “terrorist organisation”.
The US Treasury Department designated Shahid Mahmood and Muhammad Sarwar as global terrorists.
LeT’s student wing works with the senior leaders of the organisation, they recruit people and organise activities for the youth.
The State Department in a press release said, “Through its authorities under Section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act and Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, the State Department announces the amendment of the Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) and Specially Designated Global Terrorist entity designations of Lashkar e-Tayyiba (LeT) to include the alias Al-Muhammadia Students (AMS).”
The release added, “The consequences of the FTO and E.O. 13224 designations include a prohibition against knowingly providing, or attempting or conspiring to provide, material support or resources to, or engaging in transactions with this organization, and the blocking of all property and interests in property of designated persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction.”
In December 2001, the US designated LeT a terrorist organisation. Since then, LeT has repeatedly changed its name and created front organisations in an effort to avoid sanctions.
Acting Director Office of Foreign Assets Control, John E Smith said these two LeT leaders’ duty were to raise funds to support the group’s operations. “Today’s action not only aims to expose their activities, but also disrupts Lashkar-e-Taiba’s financial network and ability to carry out violent terrorist attacks.”
According to the Treasury Department, Sarwar has been a senior LeT leader in Lahore for more than 10 years. Currently, he is the LeT’s emir for Lahore. He has held this position since January 2015.
He worked with LeT’s foreign affairs chief Hafiz Abdul Rahman Makki in between 2012 and 2013.
Another terrorist Mahmood, a senior LeT member based in Karachi and has been associated with the group since 2007. His areas of responsibility included Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia, the Treasury said.
He also served as the vice chairman of Falah-i-Insaniat Foundation (FIF), a fund raising arm of LeT. The Treasury also said that earlier Mahmood was part of LeT’s overseas operations team led by Sajjid Mir. Mir was designated a global terrorist in 2012.
The Treasury said in 2011, Mahmood claimed that LeT’s main concern should be attacking India and America.