The US decision to declare underworld don Dawood Ibrahim as “global terrorist” came in the backdrop of investigations pointing towards his smuggling routes being shared by Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda and funding of Lashkar-e-Taiba by the D-company, according to official US statements and media reports. The US Treasury Department, which designated the underworld don as a global terrorist, also tracked down his al Qaeda connections saying his narcotic “smuggling routes from South Asia, the Middle East and Africa are shared with Osama bin Laden and his terrorist network.
“A financial arrangement was reportedly brokered to facilitate the latter’s usage of these routes. In the late 1990s, Ibrahim travelled to Afghanistan under the protection of the Taliban,” a Treasury Department statement said.
The Treasury Department stated that ” Ibrahim’s syndicate is involved in large-scale shipment of narcotics in the UK and Western Europe”.
The US-based weekly Saturday Tribune , run by Pakistani journalist Shaheen Sehbai, said Washington, which has already asked the United Nations to place Dawood in the terrorist watch-list in accordance with relevant Security Council resolutions, took the decision after being “largely motivated” by the arrests of some militants owing allegiance to the banned Lashkar-e-Taiba in the US and Saudi Arabia earlier this year.
According to the Treasury Department, Dawood was described as “an Indian crime lord (who) has found common cause with al Qaeda, sharing his smuggling routes with the terror syndicate and funding attacks by Islamic extremists aimed at destabilising the Indian government”.
It said he was “wanted in India for the 1993 Bombay Stock Exchange bombings and is known to have financed the activities of the LeT, a group designated by the United States in October 2001 and banned by the Pakistani government # who also froze their assets # in January 2002”. While asking UN Security Council to include Dawood in its list of wanted terrorists , Deputy Assistance Secretary for Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes Juan Zarate said “We are calling on the international community to stop the flow of dirty money that kills.
“For the Ibrahim syndicate, the business of terrorism forms part of their larger criminal enterprise, which must be dismantled,” Zarate said.
While the US designation of Dawood as a global terrorist implies “freezing of any assets belonging to Ibrahim within the US and prohibits transactions with US nationals”, listing by the United Nations would require similar action by all UN member states.
So far, 322 individuals and organisations have been listed as “terrorists and terrorist supporters” and about $137 million worth of “terrorist assets” have been frozen.