May 3, 2006Foreign AffairsSecurity

On the banning of terrorist groups

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This is an archived blog post from The Acorn.

The Pakistani authorities have refused to ban Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JUD) and Idara al-Khidmat-e-Khalq (IKK), both versions of the (banned) Lashkar-e-Taiba, even after the United States belatedly did so. According to its Foreign Office spokeswoman, Pakistan is not obliged to ban them unless the United Nations proscribes them first. Hairs have been split.

Interestingly, as Victor Comras points out in the Counterterrorism blog, the US State Department held back its decision to ban these groups in view of their engagement in earthquake relief work.

The State Department issued its notice of designation on April 27th, 2006 pursuant to Executive Order 13224 which blocks all property, and interests in property, of Jamaat-Ud-Dawa and another linked organzation, Idara Khidmat-e-Khalq, that are in the United States or the under the control of U.S. persons. Perhaps one reason for this delay was to allow Jamaat to carry out its important relief activities through the winter months. Cutting them off during this period of disaster relief might have proved counter-productive. But what is still surprising is that no action has yet been taken to designate Lashkar’s founder, Hafiz Muhammad Sayeed, who is also the head of Jamaat ud-Dawa. As I pointed out in an earlier blog, holding the leaders responsible, and penalizing them, is even more important and would be a much more effective step then seeking only to close down the charities they run. Experience has shown that you can’t truly shut down these operations unless you also put their leaders and organizers out of business. [Counterterrorism Blog]

Comras also asks why the Bank of New York is collecting donations on behalf of the IKK, a designated foreign terrorist organisation.

By the way, we also hear that investigations into the A Q Khan affair have been declared completed. Pakistan has closed the chapter”. Nice, no?

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