US imposes sanctions on Pak financiers of Qaeda, Taliban

Last Updated: Friday, April 16, 2010 - 09:11

Washington: The Obama administration on Thursday slapped sanctions on two Karachi-based Pakistani nationals, one of them was born in India, for allegedly providing financial support to terrorist activities of al Qaeda and the Taliban.

The two are identified as Mohammed Mazhar, the director of Al-Akhtar Trust, and Mufti Abdul Rahim, leader of Al-Rashid Trust.

Mohammed Mazhar was designated for his fundraising activities and financial and other support for al Qaeda and the Taliban and Mufti Abdul Rahim was designated for his fundraising activities for the Taliban, the Department of Treasury said.

Al-Akhtar Trust and Al-Rashid Trust are both Pakistani charities previously identified as Specially Designated Global Terrorists pursuant to Executive Order 13224, which freezes any assets the designated entities and individuals have under US jurisdiction and prohibits Americans from engaging in any transactions with those entities and individuals.

"Today`s designation of these two high-profile financiers of al Qaeda and the Taliban, who are also leaders of Al-Akhtar Trust and Al-Rashid Trust, further exposes those organisations` continuing support for terrorism under the guise of charitable activity," Stuart Levey, Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, said.

Brief background

As of mid-2007, Mazhar was supporting the Taliban in Afghanistan through a Pakistan-based madrassa, Baluchistan, that trained Taliban recruits to perform combat operations in Afghanistan.

Mazhar was also once a member of Taliban combatant groups and has fought in Afghanistan, said the Department of Treasury.

Additionally, in 2004-2005, Mazhar arranged for small groups of businessmen from South Africa and the United Kingdom to travel to Pakistan every two to three months to courier Al-Akhtar Trust donations into Pakistan, it said.

Mufti Abdul Rahim, leader of Al-Rashid Trust, a position he has held since 2002, was born in Sargodha region of Pakistan.

In official records he has registered two date of births 1955 and 1964, the statement said.

"Al-Rashid Trust has been raising money for the Taliban since 1999, and in his leadership capacity, Rahim handles the day-to-day management of the trust and acts as one of Al-Rashid Trust`s primary fundraisers. He has also served as Al-Rashid Trust`s chairman and, in 2009, filled a chief executive role on the board that runs the trust," the Treasury said.

As of late 2009, Rahim was a key supporter of Taliban operations in Afghanistan and Pakistan and had coordinated Taliban facilitation activities with Al-Akhtar
Trust leader Mohammed Mazhar.

"Rahim has provided regular financial support to the Taliban and received numerous senior Taliban visitors at his madrassa in Karachi, Pakistan. In mid-2005, Rahim passed an unspecified amount of money to a Peshawar-based Taliban associate, who in turn distributed it among several Taliban commanders," the Treasury said.

PTI



First Published: Friday, April 16, 2010 - 09:11

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