The US Treasury Department added the Al Furqan Foundation Welfare Trust to the list of terrorist entities today. Al Furqan, which is based in Pakistan and Afghanistan, funds al Qaeda, Lashkar-e-Taiba, and the Taliban, and has been directly linked to a notorious jihadist who is a leader in both al Qaeda and the Taliban.
Treasury added Al Furqan to the US list of Specially Designated Global Terrorists. A State Department press release on the designation noted that the move was made along with the Saudi government, which listed the group “under its Law of Terrorism Crimes and Financing and the Royal Decree A/44.”
Al Furqan was described as “the successor entity to the Afghan Support Committee (ASC) and Revival of Islamic Heritage Society branches in Pakistan and Afghanistan (RIHS-Pakistan),” two groups that were listed by the US and UN as terrorist entities in 2002. ASC and RIHS “are a single organization that changed its name to Al Furqan Foundation Welfare Trust in order to continue its terrorist financing activities,” State noted.
“Since its establishment in the mid-2000s, Al-Furqan has provided funding and other support to terrorist organizations such as al Qaeda, the Taliban, and Lashkar-e-Taiba,” State conunued in its press release. “Al-Furqan also has provided funding and other support to terrorist facilitator Sheikh Aminullah, who was designated by the United States and the UN in 2009, and other extremists in Afghanistan and Pakistan.”
Support for Sheikh Aminullah, a dual-hatted al Qaeda and Taliban leader
State described Al Furqan as “a charitable organization that is a major conduit of financial and material support for terrorist groups and their activities in Pakistan and Afghanistan, in some cases under the guise of humanitarian work.”
Since November 2013, Al Furqan has been providing funds to Sheikh Aminullah, an “al Qaeda facilitator” who runs the “terrorist training center Ganj Madrassa.”
“Al Furqan was used to manage financial transactions between individuals in the Gulf and Pakistan in support of the Afghan insurgent movement led by Sheikh Aminullah. Afghan insurgent money managers gained access to funds through Al Furqan with a special note written by Shiekh Aminullah,” State reported.
Aminullah, who is also known as Fazeel-a-Tul Shaykh Abu Mohammed Ameen al Peshwar, is a known terrorist with ties to both al Qaeda and the Taliban. In 2009, he was added to both US and UN’s lists of terrorists. The UNSC designation noted that Aminullah runs the Ganj Madrassa, or religious school, which he has used to recruit and provide support for al Qaeda. Aminullah also furnished suicide vests to al Qaeda and Taliban suicide bombers, and paid the families of the terror groups’ so-called martyrs.
In 2013, the US listed the Ganj Madrassa as a terrorist entity, and provided additional detail on Aminullah’s activities. Treasury said that the Ganj Madrassa “serves as a terrorist training center where students, under the guise of religious studies, have been radicalized to conduct terrorist and insurgent activities.” The madrassa’s students include “bomb manufacturers and suicide bombers.” Aminullah, the Treasury designation noted, “frequently travels to the Gulf to obtain charity donations on the madrassa’s behalf.” And he uses these donations to fund Taliban operations inside Afghanistan, as well as to support al Qaeda and Lashkar-e-Taiba. [See LWJ report, Treasury designates al Qaeda leader, madrassa.]
Aminullah also serves as a senior leader in the Taliban. In 2011, he was appointed to lead the Taliban’s Peshawar Regional Military Shura, which is responsible for operations in eastern and northern Afghanistan. It is unclear if he still commands the Peshawar Regional Military Shura, which is one of four major regional commands operated by the Afghan Taliban. [See LWJ report, Taliban appoint al Qaeda-linked commander to lead Peshawar shura.]
Aminullah is wanted by the FBI. “He may be residing in the Ganj District (or Ganji District), Peshawar, Pakistan,” where his madrassa is located, according to the FBI’s wanted statement. Pakistan has made no effort to arrest him, despite the fact that he operates openly in Pakistan and is able to travel to the Gulf.
Support for Lashkar-e-Taiba
In addition to aiding the Taliban and al Qaeda, Al Furqan continues to support Lashkar-e-Taiba, a Pakistan-based jihadist group that is closely allied to al Qaeda and the Taliban and is supported by Pakistan’s military, intelligence services, and government. Lashkar-e-Taiba is responsible for numerous terrorist attacks in India and Afghanistan, including the 2008 suicide assault in Mumbai.
“As of mid-2014, Al Furqan’s management provided tens of thousands of US dollars to Lashkar-e-Taiba leadership,” according to State. “Some of this money was obtained as a result of Al Furqan’s revenue streams from individuals in the Gulf.” Lashkar-e-Taiba funneled “aid shipments” from Al Furqan to “unspecified projects in Kashmir.”
The so-called charity also supported Lashkar-e-Taiba operations in Afghanistan. Al Furqan provided funds to two “two Pakistan-based madrassa directors who fought for Lashkar-e-Taiba, sent madrasa students to fight for Lashkar-e-Taiba in Afghanistan, and used Al Furqan’s funding to stage cross-border attacks in Afghanistan.”
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