India’s train bombings: US freezes assets of 4 Pakistanis

By Arun Kumar, IANS,

Washington : The US has frozen the assets of four Pakistani terrorists for their alleged involvement in a series of terrorist activities in India, including the July 2006 train bombing in Mumbai and February 2007 bombing in the Samjhauta Express train that goes to Pakistan.

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The US treasury department Wednesday slapped sanctions on the four – Arif Qasmani, Fazeel-A-Tul Shaykh Abu Mohammed Ameen al-Peshawari, Mohammed Yahya Mujahid and Nasir Javaid – by designating them as part of support networks of Al Qaeda and Lashkar-e-Taeba (LeT) in Pakistan.

“The designated individuals have provided direct support to Al Qaeda and LeT and have facilitated terrorist attacks, including the July 2006 train bombing in Mumbai,” the Treasury said in a statement.

LeT, a Pakistan-based terrorist group with links to Osama bin Laden and the Al Qaeda network, blamed for the November 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai, was designated a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) by the US Dec 26, 2001 and designated under a UN Security Council Resolution May 2, 2005.

“The United States and the United Nations have both targeted these four individuals for supporting Al Qaeda and Lashkar-e-Taeba,” said Adam J. Szubin, director in the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).

“Threats to global security require a global response, and we are gratified to be standing shoulder to shoulder with the UN Security Council as we cut these terrorist supporters off from the international financial system.”

As of early 2008, Ameen al-Peshawari was providing assistance, including funding and recruits, to the Al Qaeda network. He has also provided funding and other resources to the Taliban operating in Afghanistan, the statement said.

Arif Qasmani, chief coordinator for LeT dealings with outside organisations, has worked with LeT to facilitate terrorist attacks, including the July 2006 train bombing in Mumbai and the February 2007 Samjhauta Express bombing in Panipat, Haryana.

Qasmani conducted fundraising activities on behalf of LeT in 2005 and utilised money that he received from Dawood Ibrahim, an Indian crime figure and terrorist supporter, to facilitate the July 2006 train bombing in Mumbai, it said.

Since 2001, Arif Qasmani has also provided financial and other support and services to Al Qaeda, including facilitating the movement of Al Qaeda leaders and personnel in and out of Afghanistan, the return of foreign fighters to their respective countries, and the provision of supplies and weapons.

In return for Qasmani’s support, Al Qaeda provided him with operatives to support the July 2006 train bombing in Mumbai and the February 2007 Samjhauta Express bombing, the Treasury said.

In 2005, Qasmani provided Taliban leaders with a safe haven and a means to smuggle personnel, equipment and weapons into Afghanistan.

Mohammed Yahya Mujahid, the head of the LeT media department, has issued statements to the press on behalf of LeT on numerous occasions, including after the December 2001 LeT attacks on the Indian parliament, and following the November 2008 attacks in Mumbai.

From 2001 to at least 2008, Nasir Javaid, an LeT commander in Pakistan, was also involved in LeT military training as head of an LeT training centre in Pakistan, the statement said.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at [email protected])