The United States has designated Hizbul Mujahideen leader Syed Salahuddin as a global terrorist. An official US statement on Monday said, “Department of State has designated Mohammad Yusuf Shah, also known as (AKA) Syed Salahuddin, as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) under Section 1(b) of Executive Order (E.O.) 13224.” The order imposes sanctions on “foreign persons, who have committed, or pose a significant risk of committing, acts of terrorism that threaten the security of U.S. nationals or the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the United States.”
Syed Salahuddin is the leader of the terrorist group Hizbul Mujahideen (HM). The US statement noted that in September 2016, “Salahuddin had vowed to block any peaceful resolution to the Kashmir conflict, threatened to train more Kashmiri suicide bombers, and vowed to turn the Kashmir valley ‘into a graveyard for Indian forces’.”
“Under Salahuddin’s tenure as senior HM leader, HM has claimed responsibility for several attacks,” including the April 2014 explosives attack in Jammu and Kashmir, which injured 17 people, the statement said.
What is EO 13224?
According to the US state department, then President George Bush had signed Executive Order 13224 on September 23, 2001, giving the US government a powerful tool to impede terrorist funding. It was considered a part of the US’ national commitment to lead the international effort to bring a halt to the evil of terrorist activity.
The order provides a means to disrupt the financial support network for terrorists and terrorist organizations by authorizing the US government to designate and block the assets of foreign individuals and entities that commit, or pose a significant risk of committing, acts of terrorism.
It says, “The order authorizes the US government to block the assets of individuals and entities that provide support, services, or assistance to, or otherwise associate with, terrorists and terrorist organizations designated under the Order, as well as their subsidiaries, front organizations, agents, and associates.”
How US move will affect Salahuddin
Designating Salahuddin a global terrorist, hence, would allow the US authorities to block his assets and entities that support his activities. It remains to be seen if the US would act against Pakistan, which has aided the terrorist by providing him a safe haven on its territory.
The US sanction would deter donations or contributions to Salahuddin and his group. It also serves as a clear message to Pakistan about US concerns over the terrorist. Will Pakistan act against the Hizbul leader now? Well, this remains to be seen.
According to the State Department, the EO 13224, “Alerts other governments to U.S. concerns about individuals or entities aiding terrorism, and promotes due diligence by such governments and private sector entities operating within their territories to avoid associations with terrorists.” Further, it says, the order, “Disrupts terrorist networks, thereby cutting off access to financial and other resources from sympathizers.”