Lashkar-e-Taiba leader Hafiz Saeed.
Just hours after the United Nations Security Council declared the Pakistan-based Jamaat-ud-Dawa a front for the Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist outfit, Pakistan acted against the group by placing the leader under house arrest and shut down offices throughout Pakistan.
Lashkar-e-Taiba leader Hafiz Saeed has been placed under “house arrest” for three months, according to a report by Geo News, while the group’s offices have been closed in Karachi, Hyderabad, Islamabad, Rawalpindi, and Azad Kashmir.
Pakistan acted after the UNSC declared the Jamaat-ud-Dawa as an alias for Lashkar-e-Taiba and placed Saeed and three senior Lashkar operatives on the list of terrorists associated with the Taliban and al Qaeda as per UNSC Resolution 1267. Also placed on the list are Lashkar’s chief of operations, the chief of finance, and a senior financier who served as the leader of Lashkar-e-Taiba in Saudi Arabia.
The Pakistani government said it would act against Lashkar and its leaders if the UNSC placed the group on its list of terrorists. Prior to the UNSC action, Pakistan detained two men thought to be complicit in last month’s assault on Mumbai, India. A team of terrorists held the city hostage for 62 hours and killed more than 180 civilians and security personnel.
Jamaat-ud-Dawa has long been known to be a front for the Lashkar-e-Taiba. Saeed renamed the Lashkar-e-Taiba to Jamaat-ud-Dawa in 2002 after Lashkar was banned by the Pakistani government. Pakistan had never acted against the Jamaat-ud-Dawa. Instead, Saeed and his leaders rebranded the group as a Muslim charity to mask the operations of Lashkar-e-Taiba.
The Jamaat-ud-Dawa has established an organization that rivals Lebanese Hezbollah. The group succeeded in providing aid to earthquake-ravaged regions in Kashmir in 2005 while the Pakistani government was slow to act. Lashkar is active in fundraising across the Middle East and South Asia, and has recruited scores of Westerners to train in its camps. Lashkar-e-Taiba is an ally of al Qaeda; the two groups provide support for each other, and their operatives train in each other’s camps.
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