Lashkar, Jaish not in US ban list
5 October 2001
The Times of India
CHIDANAND RAJGHATTA TIMES NEWS NETWORK
WASHINGTON: Pakistan-based terrorist groups Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed have once again escaped being designated Foreign Terrorist Organisations (FTO) by the United States.The State Department on Friday redesignated 25 already named groups as FTOs, dropping two outfits (Japanese Red Army and Tupac Amaru) from the original list of 27 groups named last year. The only Kashmir-related name in the group is the Harkat-ul Ansar, also known as Harkat-ul Mujaheddin. As reported in this paper, the State Departmentís list was not expected to name any new groups from Pakistan because of what US officials say are procedural difficulties. The prospect became even more remote given Washington current sensibilities aimed at not provoking an Islamic backlash in the region. Officials have however indicated that the two groups may be named in a separate White House executive order aimed at putting a financial crimp on terrorism. The order is expected in a few days, but Indian officials are not holding their breath about this. State Department mandarins say it has been difficult for officials to meet the legal benchmarks required to designate outfits like Lashkar and Jaish as FTOs. Among the legal criteria that has to be met for designation as FTO are that ''an organisationís activities must threaten the security of US nationals or the national security (national defence, foreign relations, or the economic interests of the United States.''