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Harkat on US list

Washington, Oct. 3 (PTI): Pakistan-based outfit Harkat-ul Mujahideen and al Qaida, LTTE and Hamas are among the 25 groups re-designated by the US as foreign terrorist organisations, making it illegal for people in America to provide material support to them.

The Jaish-e-Mohammad, the Lashkar-e-Toiba and the Lashkar-i-Jhangvi — all based in Pakistan — remain on the list, an official announcement here said.

“The secretary of state (Colin Powell) re-designated 25 groups as foreign terrorist organisations under US law on October 2, 2003. The initial designations of these groups in 1997 and 1999 are due to expire on October 3, 2003,” US state department spokesperson Richard Boucher said yesterday.

“By re-certifying them as foreign terrorist organisations and publishing that decision today in the federal register, we preserve the US government’s ability to take action against them in accordance with the provisions of the immigration and nationality act, as amended,” he said.

“This act makes it illegal for persons in the US or subject to US jurisdiction to provide material support to these terrorist groups.”

“It requires US financial institutions to block assets held by them and it enables US to deny visas to representatives of these groups,” he said.

“The secretary made this decision in consultation with the attorney-general and the secretary of the treasury after a thorough review of these groups’ terrorist activities over the past two years,” the state department spokesperson said.

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