Pakistan anti-terrorism court sentences 5 for terror financing
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Pakistan anti-terrorism court sentences 5 for terror financing

Pakistan’s Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) in Lahore on Saturday sentenced five persons who led Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD), an organization founded by Hafiz Saeed with financial support from Osama bin Laden, each to nine years’ imprisonment for terrorism financing.

JuD is known as the political arm of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), which was responsible for the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks that left 166 dead. The UN listed LeT as a terrorist organization in May 2005. Saeed was designated a terrorist individual by the UN in December 2008 for his involvement with LeT and al Qaeda. Pakistan’s Anti-Terrorist Act of 1997 prohibits terrorist financing.

Local media reported that the five leaders “had been collecting funds and unlawfully financing” LeT. The court ruled that the assets the five leaders accrued through their terrorism financing must be confiscated.

Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, LeT’s leader, received a sentence of 15 years’ collective imprisonment from the ATC for terrorist financing.

The court sentences are part of a broader global effort to combat terrorist financing. The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) acts as a watchdog against terrorist financing. It sets international standards for combatting terrorist financing, helps countries to implement the UN Security Council resolutions on terror financing, and evaluates countries’ ability to respond to terrorism financing. In 2016, the FATF released a Strategy on Combatting Terrorist Financing.

The FATF has been closely monitoring Pakistan. Its latest report on the country was published in September.