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November 3, 2001
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US formally bans Lashkar, Jaish

T V Parasuram in Washington

The United States has effectively banned Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Tayiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed by designating them as 'foreign terrorist organisations', fulfilling a long-standing Indian demand, days before the visit of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to Washington.

Secretary of State Colin Powell accepted a recommendation by Attorney General John Ashcroft to designate 46 groups including the Lashkar-e-Tayiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad as 'foreign terrorist organisations' on Friday.

The US does not employ the term 'ban' for 'designation', but the action carries the same legal consequences as a ban.

Ashcroft, in a communication to Powell, had said that LeT and JeM and other outfits whose assets the Bush Administration had frozen after the September 11 terror strikes in the US should be branded as 'terrorist organisations'.

Lashkar and Jaish had figured in the list of the organisations and individuals whose assets were frozen by President George W Bush for having 'links' with terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden or his Al-Qaeda network.

The move was welcomed by Indian Ambassador to the US Lalit Mansingh.

The development is also seen as a stinging rebuttal of Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf's claim that the terrorists active in Kashmir are indigenous 'freedom fighters'.

The designation of the outfits as terrorist organisations would have an impact not only on them but also on their benefactors.

Besides a freeze on the finances, their members and supporters will come under a number of legal restrictions.

State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said the Secretary of the Treasury and the Attorney General designated the foreign terrorist organisations under the Executive Order the President signed on September 23 to facilitate the US effort to stop the flow of money to terrorist groups.

He said this round of Executive Order designations was by no means the last.

"The list of affected organisations and individuals is a living document. We will continue to expand it as we identify and confirm additional entities that provide financial and other support to terrorist organisations... The terrorist groups designated by the Secretary as Foreign Terrorist Organisations maintain networks around the world, and use these networks to facilitate deliberate acts of violence against innocent persons to further their nefarious designs," he said.

Although the current focus of the US campaign is the elimination of the Al Qaida terrorist network Boucher said, "We will not rest until every terrorist group has been removed as a threat to the United States, our citizens or interests and our friends and allies."

America's War on Terror: The complete coverage
The Attack on US Cities: The complete coverage

The Terrorism Weblog: Latest Stories from Around the World

External Link:
For further coverage, please visit www.saja.org/roundupsept11.html

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