Saudi Arabia, US join hands to disrupt LeT, Qaeda, Taliban funding

Washington: In an unprecedented move, Saudi Arabia has joined hands with the US to disrupt the fundraising and support networks of LeT, al-Qaeda and the Taliban by imposing sanctions on four individuals and two organisations.

Department of Treasury has designated James Alexander McLintock, Al-Rahmah Welfare Organization, Abdul Aziz Nuristani, the Jamia Asariya Madrassa, Naveed Qamar, and Muhammad Ijaz Safarash, as “Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs)”.

As a result of yesterday’s action, any property or interest in the name of these designated individuals and entities subject to US jurisdiction is frozen.

Simultaneously, Saudi Arabia also slapped sanctions against these individuals and entities.

“From terrorising local populations to exploiting charities and religious institutions, al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) have a long history of inflicting violence on Americans and our allies throughout South Asia and the Middle East,” said Adam J Szubin, Acting Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.

“Today’s action marks yet another step in Treasury’s efforts to financially cripple terrorist financiers and demonstrates the United States’ and Saudi Arabia’s shared resolve to target those who support terrorism,” he said.

Saudi Arabia-based LeT member Muhammad Ijaz Safarash has funded and provided logistical support to LeT.

Safarash has been an LeT operative for several years, acquiring travel documents and facilitating financial transfers in Saudi Arabia, the Treasury said.

According to the Treasury, Qamar has held multiple influential positions of authority within LeT and has supported its fundraising activities since at least 2004.

In addition to running an LeT training camp and supervising LeT’s Karachi sector commanders in 2011, Qamar’s key leadership positions include serving as the head of its Education Department between 2013 and at least mid-2014, acting coordinator of LeT for Sindh Province, Pakistan, as of late 2008, chief of LeT’s student wing and editor of the its ‘Al Dawa’ magazine and director as of 2003 for LeT’s periodical department.

In early 2013, Qamar led a group of Pakistani businessmen to an LeT training camp for an orientation programme on its operations, after which they donated and pledged support of the group, the Treasury said.

Nuristani was slapped with sanctions for providing financial, material, or technological support for, or financial and other services to or in support of LeT, al-Qaeda and the Taliban.

Sanctions were also slapped on Jamia Asariya Madrassa for being controlled by Nuristani and for providing financial, material or technological support for or financial and other services to or in support of LeT.

James Alexander McLintock is the president, CEO, and chairman of the Pakistan-based RWO — a front organization for al-Qaeda that has been used to finance al-Qaeda, the Taliban, LeT and other Afghan extremist groups.

Outside of RWO, McLintock has also personally supported multiple terrorist groups, the Treasury said.