The US Treasury has sanctioned a top Al Qaeda official and a madrassa in Peshawar, Pakistan for serving as a terrorist training center supporting Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Pakistan based terrorist group behind the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attack.
Targeting Jamia Taleem-Ul-Quran-Wal-Hadith Madrassa, also known as the Ganj madrassa, the Treasury department said the Peshawar based religious school “serves as a training center and facilitates funding for Al Qaeda, Lashkar-e-Taiba, and the Taliban.”
The sanctions freeze any assets the sanctioned persons or entities may have under US jurisdiction and prohibits US persons from doing business with them.
“The activities of the Ganj madrassa exemplify how terrorist groups, such as Al Qaeda, Lashkar-e-Taiba, and the Taliban, subvert seemingly legitimate institutions, such as religious schools, to divert charitable donations meant for education to support violent acts,” the announcement said.
“Today’s action strikes at the heart of the financial and logistical support network that abuses charitable donations and provides essential services for various terrorist groups including Al Qaeda, Lashkar-e-Taiba, and the Taliban.”
“These networks provide the fighters, training, and supplies for these terrorist groups to carry out their acts of violence against coalition forces and civilians alike,” said Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David S Cohen.
In targeting Umar Siddique Kathio Azmarai, the announcement noted during his long tenure with Al Qaeda, he has held a number of important positions.
“He is Al Qaeda’s leader in Sindh and Balochistan provinces, Pakistan, and has been a significant financial facilitator for the group, moving hundreds of thousands of dollars in support of its leadership and operations.