As part of its continuing efforts to disrupt and dismantle terrorist organizations operating from Pakistan, the U.S. Treasury Department announced in early November the imposition of economic sanctions targeting the financial and support networks of the Pakistan-based terrorist groups Lashkar-e Tayyiba and Jaish-e Mohammed.
Treasury imposed sanctions against Azam Cheema, one of Lashkar-e Tayyiba’s key commanders, and Hafiz Abdul Rahman Makki, head of Lashkar-e Tayyiba's political affairs department.
This means that any U.S. assets held by these designees are frozen and that no U.S. citizen or company may engage in transactions with anyone associated with them.
According to the South East Asia Analysis Group, a non-profit think tank based in India, Jaish-e-Mohammed is the principal terrorist organization in Jammu and Kashmir, and the deadliest. In an effort to force India out of its 2 Northern states, Jaish-e-Mohammed members conduct violent attacks against Indian troops and government offices.
Lashkar-e Tayyiba is one of the largest and most active Islamist militant terrorist organizations in South Asia operating from Pakistan. The group's objective is to create an Islamic state in South Asia, and to integrate the North Indian regions of Kashmir and Jammu with Pakistan.
To that end, Lashkar-e Tayyiba operatives have carried out various acts of terror, including the four-day shooting and bombing attacks in Mumbai in November 2008 that killed more than 165 people, and the deadly train bombing in Mumbai in 2006.
Azam Cheema and Hafiz Abdul Rahman Makki were sanctioned because of their past actions, and their importance to the group's operations. Cheema was instrumental in training the group's operatives for the November 2008 Mumbai attacks, and planned the July 2006 Mumbai train bombings. Makki is the head of Lashkar-e Tayyiba's political affairs department.
"[Lashkar-e Tayyiba] and [Jaish-e-Mohammed] have proven both their willingness and ability to execute attacks against innocent civilians," said U.S. Treasury Department Under Secretary for Terrorism and financial intelligence Stuart Levey. "Today’s action — including the designation of Azam Cheema, one of LET’s leading commanders who was involved in the 2008 and 2006 Mumbai attacks — is an important step in incapacitating the operational and financial networks of these deadly organizations."