Terrorist and Extremist Groups of Pakistan have faced another major setback as the United States has reviewed and maintained the terrorist designations of Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Lashkar-i-Jhangvi (LJ), along with ISIL Sinai Peninsula (ISIL-SP) and several other organisations.
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The development comes days ahead of the transition of power in the United States of America.
The LeT, led by Jamat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed, is responsible for carrying out the 2008 Mumbai attack that killed 166 people, including six Americans.
Earlier this month, Mumbai attack mastermind and Lashkar-e-Taiba operations commander Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi was arrested in Pakistan on terror financing charges.
UN proscribed terrorist Lakhvi, who was on bail since 2015 in the Mumbai attack case, was arrested by the Counter-Terrorism Department of Punjab province.
The US Department of State said that it has amended the terrorist designations of LJ and ISIL Sinai Peninsula (ISIL-SP) to include additional aliases.
Additionally, the Department of State has reviewed and maintained the Foreign Terrorist Organisation (FTO) designations of LJ, ISIL-SP, LeT, Jaysh Rijal al-Tariq al Naqshabandi, Jama’atu Ansarul Muslimina Fi Biladis-Sudan (Ansaru), al-Nusrah Front, Continuity Irish Republican Army, and the National Liberation Army, a media note said.
Based upon a review of the Administrative Records I conclude that the circumstances that were the bases for the designations of the aforementioned organisations as Foreign Terrorist Organisations have not changed in such a manner as to warrant revocation of the designations and that the national security of the United States does not warrant a revocation of the designations, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a federal register notification published on January 14.
These organisations included Lashkar-eTayyiba, Jaysh Rijal al-Tariq al Naqshabandi, Jama’atu Ansarul Muslimina Fi Biladis-Sudan, Harakat ulMujahidin, alNusrah Front, Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Continuity Irish Republican Army, and the National Liberation Army.
LeT, which carried out the 2008 Mumbai terror attack, was designated as a terrorist organisation by the United States in December 2001.
Since the original designation occurred, LeT has repeatedly changed its name and created front organisations in an effort to avoid sanctions, the State Department said earlier.
The treasury department earlier this month said that the US blocked USD 342,000 in funds of LeT in 2019 as part of its crackdown on foreign terror organisations.
(With inputs from agencies)
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