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U.S. Sanctions Terrorists


Ganj Madrassa

Any assets these entities may have under U.S. jurisdiction are frozen, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from doing business with them.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury this month designated Umar Siddique Kathio Azmarai, a senior Al-Qa’ida official, and Jamia Taleem-Ul-Quran-Wal-Hadith Madrassa, also known as the Ganj Madrassa, a school in Peshawar that serves as a training center and facilitates funding for al-Qa’ida, Lashkar-e Tayyiba, and the Taliban.


The U.S. Treasury Department designated the Ganj Madrassa in Peshawar, Pakistan, because it serves as a terrorist training center where students, under the guise of religious studies, have been radicalized to conduct terrorist and insurgent activities. It is is controlled by designated al-Qa’ida facilitator Fazeel-A-Tul Shaykh Abu Mohammed Ameen Al-Peshawari, also known as Shaykh Aminullah. Shaykh Aminullah, himself, was designated by both the United States and United Nations (UN) in 2009 for providing material support to al-Qa’ida and the Taliban.

The activities of the Ganj Madrassa exemplify how terrorist groups, such as al-Qa’ida, Lashkar-e Tayyiba, and the Taliban, subvert seemingly legitimate institutions, such as religious schools, to divert charitable donations meant for education to support violent acts. This action does not generally target madrassas, which often play an essential role in improving literacy and providing humanitarian and developmental aid in many areas of the world, including Pakistan.

Azmarai, an al-Qa’ida leader in Pakistan’s Sindh and Balochistan provinces, has been a significant financial facilitator for the group, moving hundreds of thousands of dollars in support of its leadership and operations. He has also acted as a courier for al-Qa’ida officials and has managed logistics for family members of senior al-Qa’ida leadership, including Usama bin Laden.

As a result of these designations, any assets these entities may have under U.S. jurisdiction are frozen, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from doing business with them.

Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David S. Cohen said the Treasury Department’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-Qa’ida, Lashkar-e Tayyiba, 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.”

The U.S., said Under Secretary Cohen, “will continue to work with our partners around the world to dismantle these terrorist networks, especially those that try to conceal their sinister activities behind critical community organizations like madrassas.”
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