The United Nations Security Council has added Pakistan-based terrorist group and four of its leaders to the list of entities and organizations known to support al Qaeda and the Taliban. The declaration came the same day that Pakistani officials said they would act against the Jamaat-ud-Dawa if the United Nations declared it a terrorist group as part of Resolution 1267, which also known as the al Qaeda and Taliban Sanctions Committee.
The Security Council listed Jamaat-ud-Dawa as an alias of the proscribed Lashkar-e-Taiba terror group. India and the United States have said Lashkar-e-Taiba was behind last month’s three-day terror siege of Mumbai, India.
Hafiz Saeed has been listed as the leader of the Lashkar-e-Taiba. The UNSC also listed Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, Haji Mohammad Ashraf, and Mahmoud Mohammad Ahmed Bahaziq as senior members of the Lashkar-e-Taiba.
Lakhvi is listed as the terror group’s chief of operations. Ashraf is the group’s chief of finance. Bahaziq, a Saudi national who served as the leader of Lashkar-e-Taiba in Saudi Arabia, is a senior financier.
The UNSC also updated two groups already listed under Resolution 1267 as supporting Lashkar-e-Taiba. Al Akhtar Trust has been identified as financing Lashkar-e-Taiba. The UN noted Al Akhtar Trust maintains regional offices in the Pakistani cites of Bahawalpur, Bawalnagar, Gilgit, Islamabad, Mirpur Khas, and Tando-Jan-Mahammad, as well as in Spin Boldak in Afghanistan.
The Al Rashid Trust also provides support to Lashkar-e-Taiba. Al Rashid Trust operates in the Afghan cites of Herat Jalalabad, Kabul, Kandahar, and Mazar Sharif. The group also runs operations in Kosovo and Chechnya.
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 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 Westerns to train in its camps. Jamaat-ud-Dawa actively fundraises on the Internet at its website.
Pakistan vows to act
The Indian and US governments led the charge to get Jamaat-ud-Dawa added to UNSC Resolution 1267 list of terror groups. Getting the group added was by no means assured; China blocked India’s efforts to do this three times over the past several years.
The UN’s action against Jamaat-ud-Dawa requires nations to freeze the group’s assets, ban the individual terrorists from traveling, and prevent the supply of weapons, technology, and other aid to the group.
The Pakistani government signaled earlier this week that it would act against Jamaat-ud-Dawa if the UNSC added the group to the terrorist list.
Pakistan’s ambassador to UN Abdullah Hussain Haroon signaled Pakistan would take action against the terror group after the UN meeting, including shutting down training camps on Pakistani soil. “After the designation of Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JUD) under (resolution) 1267, the government on receiving communication from the Security Council shall proscribe the JUD and take other consequential actions, as required, including the freezing of assets,” Haroon said.
Earlier this week, Pakistani security forces raided Lashkar camps and offices and rounded up two senior members of the terror group thought to be involved in the Mumbai attack. Lakhvi and Zarar Shah were detained over the past several days, along with a handful of Lashkar-e-Taiba fighters.
Shah is a communications expert who set up the network that allowed the Mumbai attackers communicate with Lashkar-e-Taiba commanders in Pakistan, according to Indian intelligence officials. He also serves as a key liaison between the Lashkar-e-Taiba and Pakistan’s Inter-Service Intelligence agency.
Pakistan has rounded up senior terrorists and Taliban leaders in the past, only to allow them to go free. Saeed has been placed under house arrest at least two times since 2001, but the restrictions were quietly lifted. Numerous al Qaeda and Taliban leaders have been set free, exchanged for hostages, or escaped under questionable circumstances.
Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD’s Long War Journal.