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Thursday, 11 December 2008

UN Security Council sanctions Pakistani terrorist groups (Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jamaatud-Dawa). But is that enought?

However, sanctioning is not enough. The UNSC must constitute a high-level team to tbe stationed in Pakistan, to continuously monitor and implement the closure of all forms of Jihadi activities in Pakistan, Azad Kashmir and also in tribal areas. Such camps are supported by retired and serving military officers, usually from ISI. There are many similar organizations (such as Jaish-e-Muhammad, Harkat-ul-Ansar and Sipah-e-Sahaba which need to be banned and their structures completely demolished). Unless these steps are taken, terrorist groups supported by rogue elements in the ISI will adopt new forms and new names to evade any sanctions.


UN targets 3 Pak citizens, organisations
Updated at: 0930 PST, Thursday, December 11, 2008
UNITED NATIONS: The UN Security Council sanctions committee targeted

Wednesday four members of Pakistani banned outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), blamed for the Mumbai attacks, for assets freeze and other sanctions.

Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, Haji Muhammad Ashraf and Mohammad Ahmed Bahaziq, are "subject to the assets freeze, travel ban and arms embargo," set out in Security Council resolution 1822 of 2008, said the al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee.

Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi was one of two LeT leaders Pakistan Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani said Wednesday were arrested. Lakhvi and Zarar Shah, the other detainee, were allegedly key planners of the Mumbai gunmen attack that killed over172 people.

Both are senior members of LeT. Indian media said Lakhvi put together the team of gunmen that perpetrated the attack, while Shah allegedly arranged SIM cards and satellite phones used in the November 26-29 siege on India's financial capital.

The sanctions committee also listed the numerous aliases of LeT and two entities that provide it with funds -- Al Rasheed Trust and Al-Akhtar Trust International -- and which are also subject to UN sanctions.

The US State Department said it was "pleased that the (UN sanctions) Committee has decided to move forward on these high-priority designations.

"These actions will limit the ability of known terrorists to travel, acquire weapons, plan, carry out, or raise funds for new terrorist attacks.

By their listings, the department said in a statement, the sanctions committee "continues to serve as a tool to help member states deter terrorist activities of al-Qaeda and affiliated groups."

Pakistan launched a major operation over the weekend against militant organizations in the country, raiding a camp in Kashmir run by a charity linked to LeT and arresting 15 people.

It was not clear if Lakhvi and Shah were among those arrested in the raid.

Some of the 15 men are reported to be on a list of people that India last week requested Pakistan extradite in the wake of the Mumbai attacks.



UNSC bans Pak-based Jamaat-ud-Dawa, 4 LeT leaders


TimePublished on Thu, Dec 11, 2008 at 07:17, Updated on Thu, Dec 11, 2008 at 12:42 in World section

United Nations: A committee of the United Nations Security Council has placed sanctions against Pakistan-based Jamaat-ud-Dawa, a front organisation for Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), declaring it a terrorist organisation.

The committee has added Jamaat and four Lashkar leaders to a list of firms and people facing sanctions for ties to al-Qaeda or the Taliban the UN said.

The terrorists added to the sanctions list include Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, which the UN statement described as the leader of the group.

The others are Pakistan-born Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, the chief of operations, Haji Muhammad Ashraf, the chief of finance, and India-born Mahmoud Mohammad Ahmed Bahaziq, described as a financier for the group who served as its chief in Saudi Arabia.

The same four were hit with US Treasury Department sanctions in May. The UN sanctions, covered by Security Council resolution 1267 from 1999, include the mandatory freezing of assets and travel bans.

Imposing the sanctions, the Council asked all member states to freeze their assets and imposed travel ban and arms embargo against them.

However, it remains to be seen whether Pakistan upholds the UNSC sanctions.

“This has happened after the visit of Zardari and Manmohan to the UN. The anti-terror mechanism put in place by both countries has started working. It's now up to Islamabad to take the final decision but I'm sure that they'll uphold UNSC decision. This is the result of cooperation between the two countries," Pakistan's UN Ambassador Abdullah Hussain Haroon told CNN-IBN.

India had demanded a ban on the outfit following terrorist attacks in Mumbai which were suspected to have been orchestrated by Lashkar.

India had said that the so-called charity organisation Jamaat-ud-Dawa is but a front organisation for the outlawed terrorist outfit Lashkar-e-Toiba, which the UN banned in 2002.

Mumbai Crime Branch, in its investigations of the terror strike, has alleged that Lashkar head Zaki-ur-Rehman is the mastermind of the carnage. The other key players are Abu Hamza Kahafa and Hafiz Muhammad Saeed.


The United States has said that it will be good if Pakistan "shifts" to a tougher approach towards Lashkar-e-Toiba, the prime suspect in the Mumbai terror attacks, which left at least 171 people dead.

"We're continuing to follow the reports. What we are looking to see, if there's going to be a shift in Pakistan into how they deal with LeT," The White House Press Secretary Dana Perino said.

"And if it proves out, over time, that there is that shift, then that would be a good one and something that we would welcome. But it's just… it's just too early for us to say," she said.

(With inputs from CNN-IBN and PTI)



From Times Online
December 11, 2008
Mumbai terror mastermind placed on UN blacklist
Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi

(Abu Arqam Naqash/Reuters)

Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, who is alleged to have masterminded the Mumbai attacks
Rhys Blakely in Mumbai

Four leaders of the Pakistan-based militant group suspected of being behind the attack on Mumbai last month have been placed on a UN Security Council terrorist blacklist. They include the alleged mastermind of the terror strike, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, a Pakistan national.

The UN move represents a fillip for India, which has demanded that Pakistan do more to curb the terrorists who operate from its territory. Relations between the two nuclear armed neighbours have deteriorated sharply in the wake of the Mumbai attacks.

The UN move means that the four members of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), a notoriously brutal militant faction, will have their bank accounts frozen and face travel bans, among other sanctions.

The sanctions also covered Jamaat-ud-Dawa, most usually identified as the charity arm of LeT.
Related Links

* Mumbai terrorists 'part of a larger group'

* Terrorists thwarted police with web phones

* Indian police publish details of Mumbai gunmen

The militants added to the UN blacklist include Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, who founded LeT and now heads JuD.

Mumbai police have alleged that Mr Saeed met the terrorists who carried out last months attack before they sailed from Karachi for Mumbai. The allegation is based on the testimony of the sole gunman taken alive.

The others are Pakistan-born Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, who Indian police allege masterminded the Mumbai attack and who has been arrested in Pakistan, according to the authorities there.

Haji Muhammad Ashraf and Mahmoud Mohammad Ahmed Bahaziq, both suspected of roles in financing LeT were also placed on the UN blacklist.

The same four were named under US Treasury Department sanctions in May.

The news came as India waited to see whether Mohammad Ajmal Kasab, the sole Mumbai gunman to be taken would appear in court after an initial 14-day limit for his detention by police expired. It appeared likely, however, that a magistrate would instead travel to the secret location where he is being kept to extend the time the security services can interrogate him without charge.

Meanwhile, India's recently appointed Home Minister announced a massive overhaul of the country's security and intelligence agencies, which have been widely criticised for their lax handling of the Mumbai attacks.

The measures included setting up 20 counter-insurgency and anti-terror schools for training commandos.

Palaniappan Chidambaram had earlier admitted "lapses" on the part of India's authorities.

The minister, whose predecessor resigned after the Mumbai attacks, also underscored Pakistan's alleged role. In an address to the Indian parliament he said: "the finger of suspicion unmistakeably points to the territory of our neighbour Pakistan."

"We cannot go back to business as usual," Mr Chidambaram said.

"Several terrorist organisations operating from territories beyond India's borders have been identified as the source of attacks against India that have been perpetrated over the last number of years."



Pakistan detains 2nd alleged Mumbai plotter

By ZARAR KHAN – 6 hours ago

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) — Pakistani officials announced the arrest of a second reputed key player behind the terror assault on Mumbai and investigated an Islamic charity for possible links to the attackers, as the U.N. Security Council declared the group a terrorist organization.

At the prompting of India and the U.S., the Security Council late Wednesday declared Jamaat-ud-Dawa, which runs schools and medical clinics in Pakistan, a terrorist group subject to U.N. sanctions, including an asset freeze, travel ban and arms embargo.

Washington says the charity is a front for the banned terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba, blamed by India for the terrorist attack last month that killed 171 people in its commercial capital, and New Delhi has insisted on concrete evidence that Pakistan is quelling such groups.

A crackdown on Jamaat-ud-Dawa would underpin the promise by Pakistan's civilian government to pursue the Mumbai conspirators. But Pakistani officials say India has not shared evidence from its investigation of the attack, underlining the mistrust between the nuclear-armed neighbors that is hampering U.S. efforts to avert a deeper crisis.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said Wednesday that Pakistani authorities have detained Zarrar Shah, an alleged leader of Lashkar.

Indian news reports citing intelligence officials identified Shah as Lashkar's communications chief and said he worked out ways for the group's leaders in Pakistan to stay in touch with the 10 gunmen during the three-day siege in Mumbai.

The New York Times has reported that the attackers and their handlers used Internet phone services to make it harder for investigators to trace their calls.

Gilani also confirmed that Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, another alleged plotter identified by India, was detained during a raid Sunday in Pakistan's portion of Kashmir. That predominantly Muslim region in the Himalayas is claimed by both nations and has been the focus of two of their three wars since 1947.

The prime minister said Pakistani authorities had staged raids on militants based on information released by Indian authorities through the media.

"That is a good message to our neighbors and the rest of the world that Pakistan is a responsible nation. We want to defuse this situation," Gilani said in Multan, a central Pakistani city that India says was the hometown of two of the Mumbai attackers.

U.S. officials have told Pakistan that it must go beyond mere arrests and prevent any repeat of the Mumbai attack, whose victims included six Americans. India released information Tuesday purporting to show that all 10 gunmen in Mumbai were from Pakistan.

Washington wants the South Asian rivals to resume a painstaking peace process so Pakistan can focus on fighting Taliban and al-Qaida militants along the Afghan frontier.

But dismantling Lashkar will be politically dangerous for Pakistan's leaders because of the group's leading role in the dispute with India over Kashmir.

Pakistan's military and intelligence services are widely believed to have helped create Lashkar as a proxy fighting force in India's part of Kashmir, where Muslim separatists have engaged in a long insurgency.

While Pakistan's young civilian government has voiced a strong stance against Islamic extremism and reached out to India, there are doubts that the military, which has ruled for about half the country's 61-year history, will turn decisively against its unofficial allies.

The arrests of Lakhvi and Shah are "a minor first step which the government has taken as a gesture," said Ayesha Siddiqa, a Pakistani defense analyst.

After a 2001 attack on India's Parliament by alleged Pakistani militants, Pakistan banned the main groups fighting in Kashmir and arrested two of their leaders. But the leaders were freed without charge months later.

In a sign that Pakistan's current government wants to go further, Pakistan's ambassador to the United Nations, Abdullah Hussain Haroon, told the Security Council that police are investigating Jamaat-ud-Dawa and other groups and might impose punitive measures, including a freeze on their finances.

Jamaat-ud-Dawa, which appeared after Lashkar's banning, denies any link to Lashkar. But Washington says it is a front for Lashkar and also has ties to al-Qaida. Some analysts suspect the charity may supply recruits for militant operations.

The charity's leader, Hafiz Mohammed Saeed, repeated his group's denial of links to Lashkar. "No Lashkar-e-Taiba man is in Jamaat-ud-Dawa and I have never been a chief of Lashkar-e-Taiba," he told Pakistan's Geo television Wednesday.

U.S. officials contend that Saeed, one of the suspected Lashkar leaders detained and released in 2002, is still the overall leader of the extremist group.

Associated Press writers Stephen Graham and Nahal Toosi in Islamabad, Khalid Tanveer in Multan, Sam Dolnick in New Delhi, Ramola Talwar Badam in Mumbai and John Heilprin at the United Nations contributed to this report.



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