Washington: The US has sanctioned a top al Qaeda official and a madrassa in Peshawar, serving as a terrorist training centre supporting Lashkar-e-Taeba, the Pakistan based terrorist group behind the Mumbai attack, and the Taliban.
Targetting Jamia Taleem-Ul-Quran-Wal-Hadith Madrassa, also known as the Ganj Madrassa, the Treasury department Tuesday said the Peshawar based religious school "serves as a training centre and facilitates funding for al Qaeda, Lashkar-e-Taeba, and the Taliban."
The action freezes any assets the sanctioned persons or entities may have under US jurisdiction and prohibits US persons from doing business with them.
"The activities of the Ganj Madrassa exemplify how terrorist groups, such as al Qaeda, Lashkar-e-Taeba, and the Taliban, subvert seemingly legitimate institutions, such as religious schools, to divert charitable donations meant for education to support violent acts," the announcement said.
"Today`s action strikes at the heart of the financial and logistical support network that abuses charitable donations and provides essential services for various terrorist groups including al Qaeda, Lashkar-e-Taeba, and the Taliban."
"These networks provide the fighters, training, and supplies for these terrorist groups to carry out their acts of violence against coalition forces and civilians alike," said Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David S Cohen.
In targeting Umar Siddique Kathio Azmarai, the announcement noted during his long tenure with al Qaeda, he has held a number of important positions.
"He is Al Qaeda`s leader in Sindh and Balochistan provinces, Pakistan, and has been a significant financial facilitator for the group, moving hundreds of thousands of dollars in support of its leadership and operations.
"Azmarai has also acted as a courier for Al Qaeda officials and has managed logistics for family members of senior Al Qaeda leadership, including Usama bin Laden."
The Ganj Madrassa is controlled by designated Al Qaeda facilitator Fazeel-A-Tul Shaykh Abu Mohammed Ameen Al-Peshawari, also known as Shaykh Aminullah, the Treasury announcement said.
Shaykh Aminullah was designated by both the US and UN in 2009 for providing material support to al Qaeda and the Taliban.
Aminullah, the announcement said, has directed donations provided for the school to terrorist groups such as the Taliban, which use the money to fund the ongoing violence in Afghanistan.