US Designates Hizbul Mujahideen, FTO, Freezes Assets

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Washinton: The US State department on Wednesday designated Hizbul Mujahideen—also known as Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM), as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO). The move comes nearly a month after it designated HM chief Syed Salahuddin as a specially designated global terrorist.

According to a statement from US department of States released this evening, “The designations seek to deny HM the resources it needs to carry out terrorist attacks. Among other consequences, all of HM’s property and interests in property subject to U.S. jurisdiction are blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in any transactions with the group.”

Formed in 1989, HM is one of the largest and oldest militant groups operating in Kashmir. Hizbul Mujahideen is led by Specially Designated Global Terrorist Mohammad Yusuf Shah, also known as Syed Salahuddin. Hizbul Mujahideen has claimed responsibility for several attacks, including the April 2014, explosives attack in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, which injured 17 people, according to the statement.

New Delhi has been pushing for ban on HM and its chief with United Nation Security Council but has been vetoed by China. The designation by US department of States may help New Delhi to argue its case before the UNSC and will also put pressure on other countries to take action against HM and its leader. “Today’s action notifies the U.S. public and the international community that HM is a terrorist organization. Terrorism designations expose and isolate organizations and individuals, and deny them access to the U.S. financial system,” a statement from US department reads.

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