US declares Indian Mujahideen foreign terror outfit


New Delhi: As Indian agencies work hard to establish if terror module Indian Mujahideen (IM) has a role in the Sep 7 Delhi High Court blast, the US Thursday designated the outfit as a foreign terrorist organisation for its involvement in a number of attacks across India since 2005.

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“Today (Thursday), US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton designated the Indian Mujahideen as a Foreign Terrorist Organisation (FTO),” a US State Department press release said.

The FTO designation was done under Section 219 of Immigration and Nationality Act. Indian Mujahideen was also declared Specially Designated Global Terrorist group under US laws.

“An India-based terrorist group with significant links to Pakistan, IM is responsible for dozens of bomb attacks throughout India since 2005, and has caused the deaths of hundreds of innocent civilians,” the release said.

“IM maintains close ties to other US-designated terrorist entities including Pakistan-based Lashkar e-Tayyiba (LeT), Jaish-e-Mohammed (JEM) and Harakat ul-Jihad-i-Islami (HUJI). IM’s stated goal is to carry out terrorist actions against non-Muslims in furtherance of its ultimate objective – an Islamic Caliphate across South Asia,” it added.

The US also noted that IM’s primary method of attack is multiple coordinated bombings in crowded areas against economic and civilian targets to maximise terror and casualties.

In 2010, IM carried out the bombing of a popular German bakery in Pune frequented by tourists, killing 17 and injuring over 60 people.

In 2008, an IM attack in Delhi killed 30 people. Also in 2008, IM was responsible for 16 synchronised bomb blasts in crowded urban centres and a local hospital that killed 38 and injured more than 100 in Ahmedabad.

IM also played a facilitative role in the 2008 Mumbai attack carried out by LeT that killed 163 people, including six Americans.

“These designations highlight the threat posed by IM not only to Western interests, but to India, a close US partner. The Indian populace has borne the brunt of IM’s wanton violence and today’s actions illustrate our solidarity with the Indian government,” said Ambassador Daniel Benjamin, US Department of State’s Coordinator for Counter-terrorism.

These designations play a critical role in our fight against terrorism and are an effective means of curtailing support for terrorist activities and pressuring groups to abandon terrorism, the release said.

“The consequences of these designations include a prohibition against knowingly providing material support or resources to, or engaging in other transactions with, the IM, and the freezing of all property and interests in property of the organisation that are in the US, or come within the US, or the control of US persons,” it said.

The Department of State took these actions in consultation with the Department of Justice and the Department of Treasury, it added.