Washington, DC – The US Department of State and the Treasury Department on Tuesday (July 31) tightened its noose around Pakistan based terrorist organization, Lashkar e-Tayyiba (LeT).
The State Department designated one of the top Lashkar e-Tayyiba (LeT) operatives, Abdul Rehman al-Dakhil, as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT). Dakhil was an operational leader for LeT’s attacks in India between 1997 and 2001.
He was designated SDGT under provisions which impose sanctions on foreign persons who have committed, or pose a significant risk of committing, acts of terrorism that threaten the security of US nationals or the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the United States.
According to a statement from the State Department, “Today’s designations seek to deny Dakhil the resources to plan and carry out terrorist attacks. Among other consequences, all of his property and interests subject to US jurisdiction are blocked, and US persons are generally prohibited from engaging in any transactions with him.”
In another move, the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) took action to disrupt LeT’s fundraising and support networks by designating two of the group’s financial facilitators, Hameed ul Hassan (Hassan) and Abdul Jabbar (Jabbar), as SDGTs.
“These Lashkar-e Tayyiba financial facilitators are responsible for collecting, transporting and distributing funds to support this terrorist group and provide salaries to extremists,” said Sigal Mandelker, Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence. “Treasury’s designations not only aim to expose and shut down Lashkar-e Tayyiba’s financial network, but also to curtail its ability to raise funds to carry out violent terrorist attacks,” added Mandelker.
Abdul Rehman al-Dakhil
Abdul Rehman al-Dakhil, a longtime member of the US designated Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) and SDGT Lashkar e-Tayyiba (LeT), was captured in 2004 in Iraq by UK forces, then held in US custody in Iraq and Afghanistan until his transfer to Pakistan in 2014. After his release from Pakistani custody, Dakhil returned to work for LeT. In 2016, Dakhil was the LeT divisional commander for the Jammu region in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. As of early 2018, Dakhil remained a senior commander in LeT. The State Department noted that the latest action notifies the US public and the international community that Abdul Rehman al-Dakhil has committed, or poses a significant risk of committing, acts of terrorism.
Hameed ul Hassan
Hassan is a financial facilitator for LeT. As of late 2016, Hassan worked with Falah-e Insaniat Foundation, an alias of LeT, to collect and send funds to Syria. Further, as of early 2016, Hassan worked with his brother, Muhammad Ijaz Safarash, and Khalid Walid to transport funds to Pakistan on behalf of LeT. OFAC previously designated Safarash and Walid as SDGTs for their association with LeT in March 2016 and September 2012, respectively. Additionally, Hassan has an active Twitter account, which identifies him as the leader of Jamat-ud Dawah (an alias of LeT) in Azad Kashmir.
Jabbar is a financial facilitator for LeT and distributes salaries for the terrorist group. Jabbar has worked in LeT’s finance department since around 2000. Additionally, as of mid-2016, Jabbar distributed funds on behalf of the Falah-e Insaniat Foundation, an alias of LeT. In December 2001, the Department of State designated LeT as a Foreign Terrorist Organization in accordance with section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as amended, and as an SDGT pursuant to E.O. 13224. LeT was also added to the UN Security Council’s 1267/1989 Sanctions List in May 2005.
Jamaat-ud Dawa was designated as an alias of LeT in April 2006 and was added to the UN Security Council’s 1267/1989 Sanctions List in December 2008. In November 2010, the Department of State amended its designations of LeT to include the alias Falah-e Insaniat Foundation. And in March 2012, the UN amended its Sanctions List to recognize the Falah-e Insaniat Foundation as a front for LeT.
The US action on LeT comes within days of the election of legendary cricketer Imran Khan as the new prime minister of Pakistan. During the election campaign, Imran used anti-Americanism to the hilt and bristled at US president Donald Trump’s accusations that Pakistan provides a safe haven for terrorists.