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US slaps sanctions on LeT founding leaders

LeT has links with the al Qaeda network and is blamed for the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks and July 2006 Mumbai train bombings.



Washington: The United States on Wednesday slapped
sanctions on two founding leaders of Pakistan-based terror
outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba for fund raising, recruitment and
indoctrination of operatives.

The US Treasury Department named Zafar Iqbal and Hafiz
Abdul Salam Bhuttavi, top LeT leaders and founding members of
the group which is a front for banned Jamaat-ud-Dawa.
"Over the past 20 years, Iqbal and Bhuttavi have been
responsible for fund raising, recruitment and indoctrination
of operatives.

By targeting the core of LeT`s leadership,
today`s action aims to degrade its ability to facilitate its
terrorist activities," Under Secretary for Terrorism and
Financial Intelligence David S Cohen said.

LeT has links with the al Qaeda network and is blamed for
the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks and July 2006 Mumbai train
bombings. It was designated by the US as a Foreign Terrorist
Organization in December 2001, and was added to the UN
sanctions list in May 2005.

Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JUD) was designated as an alias of LeT in
April 2006 and was added to the UN sanctions list as an alias
of LeT in December 2008.

The Treasury said Iqbal is a senior leader and co-founder
of LeT, has served in various LeT/JUD senior leadership
positions and was once considered LeT/JUD`s second-in-command.

As of late 2010, Iqbal was in-charge of LET/JUD`s finance
department. Iqbal has also been involved in LET/JUD fund
raising activities.

As of 2008, Iqbal was identified as LeT/JUD`s chief of
fundraising, and in 2010, he was overseeing the construction
of an LeT/JUD facility.

From 2003 to 2010, Iqbal was also the director of
LeT/JUD`s education department.

In this capacity, Iqbal has been involved in recruiting
activities on behalf of the group and has prepared the
curricula for schools run by LeT/JUD in Pakistan.
As of 2010, Iqbal was a joint secretary of a university
trust created by LeT/JUD to carry out activities on behalf of
the group.

Iqbal formed LeT in the late 1980s with current LeT/JUD
emir Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, designated by the US as a terrorist
in May 2008, and by the UN in December 2008.
In 1989 or 1990, Iqbal traveled to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
with LeT/JUD chief Saeed to request financial support from
Osama bin Laden.

The Treasury said Hafiz Abdul Salam Bhuttavi is a
founding member of LeT and deputy to Hafiz Saeed. He has
served as the acting emir of LeT/JUD on at least two
occasions, including when Saeed was detained in the days after
the November 2008 Mumbai attack and held until June 2009.

Bhuttavi handled the group`s day-to-day functions during
this period. He also helped prepare the operatives for the
November 2008 Mumbai attacks by delivering lectures on the
merits of martyrdom.

Bhuttavi has issued fatwas authorizing LeT/JUD`s militant
operations, has instructed group leaders and members, and is
responsible for LeT/JUD’s madrassah network.
In mid-2002, Bhuttavi was in-charge of establishing an
LeT/JUD organizational base in Lahore, Pakistan, the Treasury
Department said.

PTI

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