Washington: The US has targeted two Pakistan-based terrorist organisations and frozen the assets of their leaders for providing financial support to Lashkar-e -Taeba (LeT) held responsible for the Nov 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.
The action by the US treasury against the leader of Harakat ul-Mujahidin (HuM) and the LeT financial support networks came as India and US committed to make joint and concerted efforts to dismantle terrorist safe havens.
A joint statement issued Tuesday after the first bilateral summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Barack Obama specifically named four Pakistan-based groups Lashkar-e Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, the D-Company, and the Haqqanis besides Al Qaeda.
"Both LeT and HuM are violent terrorist organisations that train militants and support the activities of many of the best known and brutal extremist groups, including Al Qaeda," said Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David S. Cohen.
"Today's designations will disrupt efforts by these terrorist organisations to access their financial networks and the international financial system," he said.
Designating HuM leader Fazl-ur Rehman Khalil, the Treasury said, "HuM is a terrorist group that operates throughout India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, and maintains terrorist training camps in eastern Afghanistan."
In 2005, HuM attacks in Kashmir killed at least 15 people, and in 2007, Indian troops were killed in a firefight with HuM militants in the area, it said.
HuM founder leader Khalil has been involved in directing the group's affairs, and he has maintained control over all important HuM financial decisions and has maintained a close relationship with Al Qaeda, including with its leader Osama bin Laden prior to his death.
In addition to the designation of Khalil, the Treasury Department also designated Muhammad Naeem Sheikh and Umair Naeem Sheikh for acting for or on behalf of, and for providing financial support to LeT
Their Lahore, Pakistan-based businesses Abdul Hameed Shahab-Ud-Din (AHSD) and Nia International were also designated for being owned or controlled by Muhammad Naeem Sheikh and Umair Naeem Sheikh respectively.
To date, the Treasury Department has designated 27 individuals and three entities associated with LeT.