US adds TTP chief Noor Wali Mehsud on global terror list

Published: September 11, 2019
TTP's new ameer Mufti Noor Wali Mehsud. PHOTO: EXPRESS/FILE

TTP's new ameer Mufti Noor Wali Mehsud. PHOTO: EXPRESS/FILE

ISLAMABAD: The United States on Tuesday designated the chief of the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) Noor Wali Mehsud as a global terrorist and imposed sanctions on multiple “terrorists and their supporters”.

Mehsud took over the TTP in June 2018 following the death of Mullah Fazlullah in Afghanistan.

President Donald Trump signed an executive order “modernising and strengthening sanctions authorities to combat terrorism”, said a press statement by the US State Department. The order was signed on the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

“Noor Wali, also known as Mufti Noor Wali Mehsud, was named the leader of Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in June 2018 following the death of former TTP leader Mullah Fazlullah,” said the US State Dept statement. “Under Noor Wali’s leadership, TTP has claimed responsibility for numerous deadly terrorist attacks across Pakistan”.

The TTP chief is among 12 Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) leaders of previously designated groups including TTP, Hizbullah, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the Islamic State (IS), IS-Philippines, ISIS-West Africa and an al Qaeda affiliated group fighting in Syria.

“Terrorist designations expose and isolate organisations and individuals, and deny them access to the US financial system. Moreover, designations can assist the law enforcement activities of US agencies and other governments,” elaborates the US State Dept.

The US Department of Treasury also designated 15 terrorists affiliated with ISIS, ISIS-Philippines, ISIS-Khorasan, al Qaeda, Hamas, and Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps – Quds Force under the same authority.

Consequently, all property and interests in property of the targets that are in the United States or in the possession or control of US persons will be blocked and reported to the US Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).

“OFAC’s regulations generally prohibit all dealings by U.S. persons or within the United States (including transactions transiting the United States) that involve any property or interests in property of blocked or designated persons,” explained US Treasury Department in a statement.  “In addition, persons that engage in certain transactions with the individual designated today may themselves be exposed to sanctions or subject to enforcement action”.

Earlier this year, the US declared the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) as a global terrorist organisation making it a crime for anyone in the US to assist the militants and freezing any US assets they may have.

The development came prior to PM Imran Khan and US President Trump’s meeting in Washington DC.

The move to declare BLA as a terrorist organisation was seen as “positive development” since Pakistan had long been calling for such a decision.

In a statement, the Foreign Office said the BLA remained a proscribed entity in Pakistan since 2006 and hoped that this designation “will ensure that BLA’s space to operate is minimised”.

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