US designates 2 Pakistanis for running al Qaeda and Taliban charitable front groups


The US Treasury Department has designated two Pakistanis as terrorists for using charitable front organizations to funnel money to al Qaeda and the Taliban. The Karachi-based terrorists have not been detained by the Pakistani government, despite providing open support for the Taliban, al Qaeda, and other terror groups.

Mohammed Mazhar, the director of the Al Akhtar Trust, and Mufti Abdul Rahim, the leader of the Al Rashid Trust, have been designated as terrorists under Executive Order 13224 for "providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism." The designation allows the US to freeze their assets, prevent them from using financial institutions, and prosecute them for terrorist activities.

Mohammed Mazhar is described as a "long-standing supporter of al Qaeda" and has funneled millions of dollars to the terror group through the Al Akhtar Trust, which he renamed the Pakistan Relief Foundation. Mazhar renamed the Al Akhtar Trust as the Pakistan Relief Foundation in 2007 after Pakistan closed its offices in Karachi. The US designated the charity a terrorist entity in October 2003.

In his previous positions as the chairman and president, and currently as chief executive officer of Al Akhtar, Mazhar "has led the trust's fundraising activities and provided financial and other support to al Qaeda, the Taliban, and other militant groups."

Mazhar has "personally given large donations to al Qaeda senior leader Osama bin Laden," the US Treasury stated. He has also received "sizeable amounts of money from unidentified sources in the Gulf region to pass to al Qaeda operatives fighting in Afghanistan, and frequently provided money to families of injured al Qaeda members." The wealthy Persian Gulf donors from Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states are often referred to as the Golden Chain.

Mazhar also supports the Taliban by funding a madrassa in Baluchistan, Pakistan. At this madrassa, instructors "trained Taliban recruits to perform combat operations in Afghanistan." According to the Treasury Department, Mazhar also led a Taliban group that fought against Coalition and Afghan forces inside Afghanistan. Mazhar has not been detained by the Pakistani security services, despite his ongoing support for the Taliban and al Qaeda.

Mufti Abdul Rahim has been the leader of the Al Rashid Trust since 2002. The Al Rashid Trust was designated a terrorist entity by the US Treasury in September 2001, and has used multiple aliases to remain in business.

Rahim has been implicated by the Treasury as being "a key supporter of Taliban operations in Afghanistan and Pakistan and had coordinated Taliban facilitation activities with al-Akhtar Trust leader Mohammed Mazhar." He receives "numerous senior Taliban visitors at his madrassa in Karachi" and is known to have disbursed funds directly to Taliban leaders. Like Mazhar, Rahim has not been detained by Pakistani security forces despite his support of for the Taliban.

Both the Al Akhtar Trust and the Al Rashid Trust have provided material support to al Qaeda and the Taliban. In October 2003, the US Treasury stated that the Al Akhtar Trust "was secretly treating wounded al Qaeda members at the medical centers it was operating in Afghanistan and Pakistan," while both groups "were the primary relief agencies that al Qaeda used to move supplies into Kandahar, Afghanistan."

Hakeem Mohammed Akhtar, the founder of the Al Akhtar Trust, has openly admitted his links to the Taliban and Mullah Omar. Akhtar said that the charity's "services for the Taliban and Mullah Omar were known to the world." Al Akhtar Trust also provides "a wide range of support to al Qaeda and Pakistani based sectarian and jihadi groups, specifically Lashkar-e-Taiba, Lashkar-i-Jhangvi, and Jaish-e-Mohammed," three prominent Pakistani terror groups allied with al Qaeda and the Taliban.



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READER COMMENTS: "US designates 2 Pakistanis for running al Qaeda and Taliban charitable front groups"

Posted by Jimmy at April 15, 2010 10:26 PM ET:

"All roads lead to Rome" can be modified in the present scenario to: "All TERRORISM roads lead to PAKISTAN"!

Posted by T Ruth at April 15, 2010 11:12 PM ET:

How do we "designate" the US funding of the ISI? Or of Musharraf in the past? Or of Kayani, now and also of the past, when he was heading the ISI?

Anybody who believes that the US is not, directly or indirectly (i don't care to fool myself), supporting these individuals to line their pockets is living in Cuckooland.

Btw, what happened to all the hundreds of millions of dollars of US tax-payer money that were blocked under the CSF? Were they released as part of the Great Strategic Dialogue that the US recently held with Kayani & Co in Washington? These millions have gone somewhere and they remain unaccounted for, under our sniffy noses while the US closes her eyes in her warm embrace of her great friend Paqistan.

Posted by Jimmy at April 16, 2010 2:21 AM ET:

Just look how much the Pakistan Army and ISI are linked with the global terrorist network and yet the US favors them with billions of dollars of weapons! This is leading to a changed mindset in India and the world. US under Obama seems to be losing friends every day.

http://news.rediff.com/column/2010/apr/16/braman-column-on-un-report-on-benazir-assassination.htm

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/pak-used-terrorists-as-a-tool-in-kashmir-un/607270/

http://dailypioneer.com/249212/Uncertainty-in-India-US-ties.html

Posted by Pahtun at April 16, 2010 5:50 AM ET:

T Ruth
May be US is thinking long term interest. Afterall todays terrorist could be tomorrow allies. Buying half a million army for the price is cheap. It is customized transaction. Use it to fight terrorism or use it as terrorist. Both the parties (US & Pak Army) are quite expereinced in these sort of dealings. According to some estimates US earned 50 billion dollar & world lone supper power status by sponsering mujahideen terrorist against USSR.

Posted by T Ruth at April 16, 2010 10:51 AM ET:

Pashtun,
I am very happy to engage with you in this conversation. I read your comments with interest and they bring an important locally grounded perspective to this endless conflict.

I note your skepticism and as you know i have mine too. I fully appreciate your frustration from the fall-out of the war with the Soviets.In particular i am sensitive to the massive refugee situation that was created and those people are still being employed by the Taliban, birthed by the ISI, as fodder in this war.

One person who puts across the misery of the ordinary Pashtun well is Dr Farhat Taj. Here is one piece about the poignant mistrust of the Pak Army and the dastardly ISI.
http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010%5C03%5C27%5Cstory_27-3-2010_pg3_5

Pashtun, I wish you were right about the Americans "buying" the Pak army, but i'm afraid the US is being openly outwitted by a crafty and insidious ally, Paqistan. Bing, a respected commenter here, put it succinctly when he said that Pakistan was like any sub-contractor....they will get away with the least amount of work for the highest price they can get.

And as for what the UN Commission has just said about the Pak spy agency, here it is, as reported by AP:
"It also said "the autonomy, pervasive reach and clandestine role of intelligence agencies in Pakistani life underlie many of the problems, omissions and commissions set out in this report"
More at
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5ii5VgeC_o2B1P77U0ivVSRWTh0XgD9F42OGO1

I'll be pleased to hear your perspectives.

Posted by tjg at April 16, 2010 11:12 AM ET:

The "golden chain" runs deep with our friends in the gulf.
These are the same people building skyscrapers on man made islands using slave labor. It's all good though, permits cheap vacation spot for mossad agents. If only we could just get that dam pipeline project started.

Posted by annie at April 17, 2010 4:08 AM ET:

Very interesting article. Thanks for sharing it.