WASHINGTON: The United States on Wednesday declared two Lashkar-e-Tayyiba leaders — Nazir Ahmad Chaudhry and Muhammad Hussein Gill — specially designated global terrorists, an action which increases pressure on Pakistan to take punitive action against the group.
A statement issued by the US Department of Treasury said Mr Chaudhry and Mr Gill were being designated for acting for, or on behalf of, LeT, “a terrorist organisation based in Pakistan”.
Treasury and the US Department of State have so far designated as terrorist 22 individuals and four entities associated with LeT.
The State Department also maintained LeT’s designation as a Foreign Terrorist Organisat-ion and added the following aliases to its listing of LeT: Jama’at-ud-Dawa, Al-Anfal Trust, Tehrik-i-Hurmat-i-Rasool, and Tehrik-i-Tahafuz Qibla Awwal. The State Departm-ent originally designated LT as an FTO in December 2001, and the group was added to the United Nations’ terrorists sanctions list in 2005.
“In targeting Lashkar-e-Tayyiba leadership, today’s action demonstrates our unrelenting commitment to combating terrorism by disrupting terrorist groups’ financial activities,” said US Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David S. Cohen. “We will continue to target LeT’s financial foundation to disrupt and impede its violent activities.”
The Department of Treasury said that LeT was responsible for the November 2008 terrorist attack in Mumbai which killed nearly 200 people. The group’s leader is Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, who is listed under UN Security Council Resolution 1267.
Nazir Ahmad Chaudhry
The notification stated that Mr Chaudhry had been an LeT senior leader since the early 2000s and has served as LeT vice-president, member of the group’s central leadership, and as close aide of LeT’s overall leader Muhammad Saeed. Mr Chaudhry directed the group’s public relations department for at least 10 years and, as of 2012, was the head of LeT’s information wing. Mr Chaudhry has also been a key strategist for the group and has been involved in LeT operational finance matters.
Muhammad Hussein Gill
Mr Gill is identified as a senior LeT shura member and as one of its founders.
He has been an accountant for LeT for more than 10 years and more specifically, has served as LeT’s chief financial officer and headed LeT’s accounts department for several years. He also has served in LeT’s revenue wing and has maintained LeT’s expense records.
As a result of Wednesday’s action, all property and interests in the United States or in the possession or control of US persons in which Mr Chaudhry and Mr Gill have an interest are blocked, and US persons are prohibited from engaging in transactions with them.