WASHINGTON - The United States on Wednesday designated the finance chief and a senior public relations official of Pakistan-based militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba as ‘global terrorists,’ placing tight economic sanctions on the two.
The US Treasury said Nazir Ahmad Chaudhry, one of the two hit with sanctions, has been a senior leader and strategist for LeT since the early 2000s, while the second, Muhammad Hussein Gill, is an LeT founder and its chief financial officer.
Both were labelled “specially designated global terrorists,” freezing any assets they might have in US jurisdiction and banning Americans from any transactions with the two.
“We will continue to target LeT’s financial foundation to disrupt and impede its violent activities,” said David Cohen, under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence.
LeT, already officially named a ‘foreign terrorist organisation’ by the US government, has carried out attacks on India and Indian forces in the Indian-held Kashmir region since the early 1990s.
It was blamed for the 2008 attacks in Mumbai that left 166 people dead. The group has denied responsibility.
More recently, LeT was blamed for an attack last month on an Indian diplomatic mission in Herat, Afghanistan that left two policemen wounded.
But the group subsequently denied involvement in that attack. The United States said Wednesday that Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) was responsible for the attack at the Indian Consulate in Afghanistan’s Herat province last month.
“LeT was responsible for the May 23, 2014, attack on the Indian Consulate in Herat, Afghanistan,” the State Department said, while announcing additional sanctions against LeT affiliates and leaders.
The attack on the Indian Consulate in Herat took place three days before the swearing-in ceremony of Narendra Modi as prime minister in New Delhi on May 26.