The United States announced on Wednesday that it was adding the student wing of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) to its list of “foreign terrorist organisations”.
The State Department move against the student group, al Muhammadia Students, came as the Treasury Department added two Lashkar-e-Taiba leaders to the US list of “specially designated global terrorists,” subjecting them to US sanctions.
LeT was banned by the government in 2002 but it has continued operating through front organisations, according to US officials, and their leaders conduct public rallies and interviews.
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The State Department announced that it amended the designation of LeT as a “foreign terrorist organisation” to include what it called the group’s student wing.
“Since the original designation occurred, LeT has repeatedly changed its name and created front organisations in an effort to avoid sanctions,” the State Department said, adding that the student group aided senior LeT leaders in recruiting and other activities.
The State Department action subjected the student group to sanctions, including a ban on Americans providing or attempting to provide it with material support.
The Treasury Department said it was adding Muhammad Sarwar and Shahid Mahmood to the US list of “specially designated global terrorists”, freezing any US property or other assets they hold and banning Americans from doing business with them. Both are involved in fund-raising activities, it said.
Sarwar, the department said, is the LeT leader in Lahore and Mahmood is a senior LeT leader in Karachi and has routinely travelled outside Pakistan on the group’s behalf.