US hits 2 Lashkar-e-Taiba leaders with sanctions

AP News
Posted: Sep 28, 2011 2:44 PM
US hits 2 Lashkar-e-Taiba leaders with sanctions

The Obama administration designated two members of the Pakistan-based group Lashkar-e-Taiba as terrorists on Wednesday. The action bans Americans from doing business with the men and blocks any assets they have in the United States.

The Treasury Department identified the men as Zafar Iqbal, a senior leader and co-founder of the al-Qaida-linked organization, and Hafiz Abdul Salam Bhuttavi, who it said has served as the LET's emir on two occasions and was in charge of its day-to-day operations at the time of the Mumbai attack in November 2008.

The men "are two of LET's most significant leaders," said David S. Cohen, the undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence. "Over the past 20 years, Iqbal and Bhuttavi have been responsible for fundraising, recruitment and indoctrination of operatives. By targeting the core of LET's leadership, today's action aims to degrade its ability to facilitate its terrorist activities."

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Lashkar-e-Taiba has been blamed for a series of terrorist attacks in India and plots elsewhere. The United States has considered it a foreign terrorist organization since 2001.