Pakistan’s Harkat-ul-Jihad Islami declared terror group (Lead)

August 7th, 2010 - 1:34 pm ICT by IANS  

Taliban By Arun Kumar
Washington, Aug 7 (IANS) The United States and the United Nations have designated Pakistan’s Harakat-ul Jihad Islami a “Foreign Terrorist Organization” and targeted its commander Mohammad Ilyas Kashmiri, said to be an associate of jailed Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operative David Headley.

Kashmiri, 46, who was said to be in close contact with Pakistani-American Headley, a self-confessed key plotter in the 2008 Mumbai carnage, for terrorist activities in India was labelled a “Specially Designated Global Terrorist” by the State Department Friday.

Under a separate US Treasury Department order, Kashmiri will have any of his assets frozen in US jurisdiction, and the move will also “prohibit US persons from engaging in any transactions with him.”

HuJI’s area of operation extends throughout South Asia, with its terrorist operations focused primarily in India and Pakistan, the State Department said noting HuJI’s relationship with Al Qaeda flourished after the Taliban’s rise in Afghanistan, the State Deapartment said.

It “is also responsible for terrorist attacks in India including the May 2007 Hyderabad mosque attack, which killed 16 and injured 40, and the March 2007 Varanasi attack, which killed 25 and injured 100,” it said.

In January 2009, a federal grand jury indicted Kashmiri for terrorism-related offenses in connection with a terrorist attack plot against the Jyllands-Posten newspaper in Denmark, for which Headley scouted targets as he did in Mumbai.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had taken these actions against HuJI in consultation with the Department of the Treasury and the Department of Justice, the State Department said.

In tandem with the HUJI designations, the Treasury secretary had also designated Kashmiri giving “US law enforcement additional tools needed to restrict the flow of resources to both HUJI and Mohammad Ilyas Kashmiri,” it said.

In addition, the UN took similar actions Friday against HuJI and Kashmiri to “require all UN member states to implement an asset freeze, travel ban, and arms embargo” against them, it said.

The State Department’s Coordinator for Counterterrorism, Daniel Benjamin, said that “the joint State and Treasury Department actions taken today, in conjunction with the United Nation’s listing, illustrates the international community’s resolve to counter the threat posed by HuJI and its leader Mohammad Ilyas Kashmiri.”

“The linkages between HUJI and Al Qaeda are clear, and today’s designations convey the operational relationship between these organizations,” he said.

“In acting together, the United States and United Nations are today taking another important step in combating the threat that Al aeda and its affiliated organizations pose to innocent people around the world,” said Stuart Levey, the US under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence.

Huji has provided fighters for the Taliban in Afghanistan and training of HuJI members in Al Qaeda training camps, the State Department said. It has carried out a number of terrorist attacks, the State Department said.

As commander of HuJI, Kashmiri provides support to Al Qaeda operations and terrorist attacks, it said.

Kashmiri has supported attacks against Pakistani government personnel and facilities, including the mid-2009 attack against the offices of the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and the Pakistani police in Lahore that killed 23 people and left hundreds injured.

Kashmiri has also led HuJI training camps since 2001. In 2009, Kashmiri operated a militant training center in Miram Shah, North Waziristan in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan, the State Department said.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at

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