Washington: The United States has declared the Indian Mujahideen (IM) terror group with significant links to Pakistan as a global terrorist organization to show solidarity with “a close US partner,” India.
IM was designated by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Thursday as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) under Section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act and as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist under section 1(b) of Executive Order 13224, according to the State Department.
“These designations highlight the threat posed by IM not only to Western interests, but to India, a close US partner,” Daniel Benjamin, the State Department of State’s Coordinator for Counterterrorism said, adding, “The Indian populace has borne the brunt of IM’s wanton violence and today’s actions illustrate our solidarity with the Indian Government.”
These designations play a critical role in our fight against terrorism and are an effective means of curtailing support for terrorist activities and pressuring groups to abandon terrorism, he said.
The consequences of these designations include a prohibition against knowingly providing material support or resources to, or engaging in other transactions with, the IM, and the freezing of all property and interests in property of the organisation that are in the US, or come within the US, or the control of US persons.
An India-based terrorist group with significant links to Pakistan, IM is responsible for dozens of bomb attacks throughout India since 2005, and has caused the deaths of hundreds of innocent civilians, the State Department said.
IM maintains close ties to other US- designated terrorist entities including Pakistan-based Lashkar e-Taiba (LeT), Jaish-e-Mohammed (JEM) and Harakat ul-Jihad-i-Islami (HUJI), it noted.
IM’s primary method of attack is multiple coordinated bombings in crowded areas against economic and civilian targets to maximize terror and casualties, it said noting “In 2010, IM carried out the bombing of a popular German bakery in Pune frequented by tourists, killing 17 and injuring over 60 people.
“In 2008, an IM attack in Delhi killed 30 people. Also in 2008, IM was responsible for 16 synchronized bomb blasts in crowded urban centers and a local hospital that killed 38 and injured more than 100 in Ahmedabad.”
IM also played a facilitative role in the 2008 Mumbai attack carried out by LeT that killed 163 people, including six Americans, the State Department said.