WASHINGTON - In simultaneous moves, the United States and Saudi Arabia on Tuesday sanctioned Al-Furqan Foundation Welfare Trust for allegedly financing violent extremist groups in Pakistan and Afghanistan under the guise of humanitarian work.

The sanctions target the Pakistani welfare Trust, which the US Treasury Department said had changed its name to avoid prior US sanctions. "We are committed to exposing terrorist financiers, especially those who masquerade as charities," Adam Szubin, Treasury's acting Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, said in a statement.

The Treasury said its sanctions would shut Al-Furqan out of the US financial sector and prohibit and Americans from doing business with the organisation. Saudi Arabia also designated Al-Furqan under an anti-terrorism law, the Treasury said.

Al Furqan, which is based in Pakistan and Afghanistan, funds al Qaeda, Lashkar-e-Taiba, and the Taliban, and has been directly linked to a notorious Jehadist who is a leader in both al Qaeda and the Taliban. The Treasury added Al Furqan to the US list of Specially Designated Global Terrorists.  A State Department Press release on the designation noted that the move was made alongwith the Saudi Arabian government, which listed the group “under its Law of Terrorism Crimes and Financing and the Royal Decree A/44.”

Al Furqan was described as “the successor entity to the Afghan Support Committee (ASC) and Revival of Islamic Heritage Society branches in Pakistan and Afghanistan (RIHS-Pakistan),” two groups that were listed by the US and UN as terrorist entities in 2002.

ASC and RIHS “are a single organisation that changed its name to Al Furqan Foundation Welfare Trust in order to continue its terrorist financing activities,” the State Department noted. “Since its establishment in the mid-2000s, Al-Furqan has provided funding and other support to terrorist organisations such as al Qaeda, the Taliban, and Lashkar-e-Taiba,” State conunued in its Press release.

“Al-Furqan also has provided funding and other support to terrorist facilitator Sheikh Aminullah, who was designated by the United States and the UN in 2009, and other extremists in Afghanistan and Pakistan.”

The State Department described Al Furqan as “a charitable organisation that is a major conduit of financial and material support for terrorist groups and their activities in Pakistan and Afghanistan, in some cases under the guise of humanitarian work.”

Since November 2013, Al Furqan has been providing funds to Sheikh Aminullah, an “al Qaeda facilitator” who runs the “terrorist training center Ganj Madrassa.”

“Al Furqan was used to manage financial transactions between individuals in the Gulf and Pakistan in support of the Afghan insurgent movement led by Sheikh Aminullah. Afghan insurgent money managers gained access to funds through Al Furqan with a special note written by Sheikh Aminullah,” it said.