Saudi, US impose sanctions on ‘terrorist financers’

Saudi Arabia and the US Department of Treasury jointly placed sanctions on individuals with ties to al-Qaeda, the Taliban and Lashkar-e-Tayyiba

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Saudi Arabia and the US Department of Treasury on Thursday jointly placed sanctions on four individuals and two organizations they linked to al-Qaeda, the Taliban and Lashkar-e-Tayyiba.

The groups “have a long history of inflicting violence on Americans and our allies throughout South Asia and the Middle East,” said Adam J. Szubin, acting undersecretary of Treasury for terrorism and financial intelligence, in a statement.

The action “demonstrates the United States’ and Saudi Arabia’s shared resolve to target those who support terrorism,” he said.

Treasury said it used its counter-terrorism authorities to impose the sanctions, and that Saudi Arabia did so under its law against “terrorism crimes and financing.”

James Alexander McLintock, a Scottish-born Pakistani national, was targeted for sanctions because he allegedly provided financing for all three groups, Treasury said. He’s the president, chief executive and chairman of Pakistan-based Al-Rahmah Welfare Organization, which was also hit with sanctions.

The organization, Treasury said, is an Qaeda front used to finance it, the Taliban, Lashkar-e-Tayyiba and other groups, providing financing to militants under the guise of helping orphans. Outside of the organization, McLintock has also personally supported multiple terrorist groups, Treasury alleged.

A 2004 profile in The Scotsman dubbed McLintock the “Tartan Taliban,” and detailed his journey from a student in Scotland to radicalism in Afghanistan. The report says he was arrested in Afghanistan in 2001, and later released. He was arrested again in 2009 in Pakistan, according to a report at the time in The Independent.

In addition, Treasury said Abdul Aziz Nuristani, and Jamia Asariya Madrassa, which Nuristani controls, were both placed under sanctions for providing support to Lashkar-e-Tayyiba. For years, Treasury said, terror groups have used the madrassa “as a financial conduit” to bring money into Pakistan. Nuristani has traveled to Gulf countries to raise money for the madrassa and a trust already under sanctions, Treasury said.

Treasury also imposed sanctions on Naveed Qamar, who it said has held multiple leadership positions in Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, and Muhammad Ijaz Safarash, a Saudi-based Lashkar-e-Tayyiba member it said has provided funding and logistical support to the group.

Saudi Arabia designated these individuals and entities under its Law of Terrorism Crimes and Financing and the Royal Decree A/44, as a result of this action, any property or interest in property of these designated individuals and entities under Saudi jurisdiction are also frozen, and Saudi citizens are generally prohibited from doing business with it, the Saudi Press Agency said.

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