US slaps sanctions against "trainer of suicide bombers"

Lalit K Jha

Washington, Jan 21 (PTI) The US has blacklisted topPakistani Taliban commander Qari Hussain, best known as the"trainer of suicide bombers", who masterminded several terrorattacks in the Af-Pak region, nearly three weeks after he wasdeclared dead by a Pakistani minister.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton designated QariHussain as a foreign terrorist leader and slapped sanctionsagainst him. The United States is widening its scope in goingafter alleged extremist leaders in Pakistan.

Hussain, one of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan''s toplieutenants, was declared dead by Khyber-PakhtunkhwaInformation Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain early this month.

"Qari Hussain was killed in a drone strike," Hussainhad claimed, saying the Taliban commander died in NorthWaziristan tribal region in the first week of October.

Qari Hussain, who serves as the trainer and organiserof the group''s suicide bombers, is believed to have trainedJordanian militant Humam Muhammad Abu Mulal al-Balawi � thedouble-agent who killed seven CIA operatives in an attack on amilitary base in Afghanistan.

"Training camps organized by Hussain are notorious forrecruiting and training men of all ages as suicide bombers,and Hussain has gained particular notoriety for his heavyrecruitment of children," the State Department said in astatement.

"Qari Hussain is one of TTP''s top lieutenants and alsoserves as the trainer and organizer of the group''s suicidebombers," the State Department said.

This action will help stem the flow of finances toHussain by blocking all property subject to US jurisdiction inwhich Hussain has an interest and prohibiting all transactionsby US persons with him.

TTP has already been designated as foreign terroristorganisation. Hussein is widely considered to be the deadliestof all TTP''s commanders. He and TTP have taken responsibilityfor many lethal suicide bombings throughout Pakistan.

"Today''s designation of Qari Hussain is in response tothe wanton acts of violence he has perpetrated against thepeople of Pakistan and United States. Hussain''s sponsoredoperations have had a destabilising effect on the region andhis use of children to carry out suicide bombings isabhorrent," said Ambassador Daniel Benjamin, the Department ofState''s Coordinator for Counterterrorism.

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