The US has designated Pakistani terrorist organizations as terrorist groups.
The United States has added key Pakistani militant organization and al-Qaida branch of the al-Qaida group to its “global terrorists” list. This triggered sanctions against the groups amid an increase in militant violence within this Islamic nation.
The State Department’s decision on Thursday comes just days after Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (also known as TTP) ended a month-long ceasefire with Pakistan. It then resumed attacks across Pakistan.
TTP threatened Pakistani authorities with further attacks. Security was tightened by the Interior Ministry, which issued orders for extra security outside of worship and other public areas on Friday. TTP has requested its fighters to attack security forces throughout the country. The 2014 attack on a Peshawar school which killed 147 people, most of them school children, was carried out by the Pakistani Taliban.
Thursday’s statement by the State Department stated that TTP and al-Qaida from the Indian Subcontinent have been designated as “Specially Designed Global Terrorists.”
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According to the agency, the U.S. “committed to using all its counterterrorism tools to counter terrorist groups operating in Afghanistan (AQIS and Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan TTP),” in order to prevent militants from using Afghanistan “a platform for international terrorism.”
According to the statement, “all property and interest in property of those named (Thursday), that are subject U.S. jurisdiction are seized and all U.S. citizens are generally forbidden from transacting with them.”
The United States also identified four members of TTP in the Indian Subcontinent Osama Mahmood as al-Qaida in India Subcontinent Osama, who is the head of al-Qaida branches, Yahya, who is the deputy chief, and Muhammad Maruf, responsible for recruiting for the group.
It also identified Qari Amjad as the leader of TTP, who is responsible for militant attacks in northwest Pakistan.
Osama bin Laden, founder of Al-Qaeda, was killed by the U.S. Navy SEALs in May 2011. He was hiding in Abbottabad, near the capital of Islamabad. TTP emerged when Pakistan became a crucial ally in America’s war against terror following the September 11, 2001 attacks.
Although Pakistan did not immediately respond to the request, Islamabad had asked the Taliban in Afghanistan for a ban on TTP using their territory for terrorist attacks within the Islamic country. Pakistan demanded this after TTP’s suicide bomber attacked a truck transporting police officers in Quetta, capital of the southwestern Baluchistan region.
TTP claimed responsibility for the attack which has been widely condemned.
Although they are an independent group, the Pakistani Taliban have been allied with Afghanistan’s Taliban and have ruled their country ever since the withdrawal of NATO and U.S troops last year. Their Pakistani allies were encouraged by the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan. Top leaders and fighters from Pakistan are now hiding in neighboring countries.