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US blocked USD 63 million in funds of designated terror groups in 2019

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Washington, Jan 01: The US blocked USD 63 million in funds of designated terrorist groups, including Pakistan-based outfits, in 2019 as part of its crackdown on foreign terrorist organisations, according to an annual report by the treasury department.

The report released by the US Department of Treasury on Thursday states the US blocked USD 342,000 in funds of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), USD 1,725 of the Jaish-e Mohammed (JeM) and USD 45,798 of the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen-al-Islami.

US blocked USD 63 million in funds of designated terror groups in 2019

All the three groups are Pakistan-based terror outfits. Harkat-ul-Mujahideen-al-Islami is a Islamic jihad group operating primarily in Kashmir.

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Another Pakistan-based Kashmir centric terrorist outfit Hizbul Mujahideen has USD 4,321 blocked by the US in 2019 as against USD 2,287 the previous year, the report said.

For the Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan, the US blocked USD 5,067 in 2019 as against a paltry USD 318 in 2018.

The Department of Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is the leading US Government agency responsible for implementing sanctions against the assets of international terrorist organisations and terrorism-supporting countries.

The federal body implements these sanctions as part of its general mission to administer and enforce economic and trade sanctions based on US foreign policy and national security goals.

According to the report, in 2019 the US blocked USD 63 million in funds of nearly 70 designated terrorist organisations, with the highest being USD 3.9 million of the al-Qaeda group. While the total blocked funds in 2018 was USD 46 million, that of the al-Qaeda was USD 6.4 million that year.

The list includes the Haqqani network (USD 26,546). It is a significant increase from USD 3,626 in 2018.

The US continues to block USD 580,811 in funds of the Sri Lanka-based Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), which has remained the same for two years -- 2018 and 2019.

The report indicated a significant drop in Taliban funds being blocked by the US from USD 296,805 in 2018 to USD 59,065 in 2019.

According to the report, the combination of sanctions programmes targeting international terrorists and terrorist organisations with those targeting terrorism-supporting governments constitute a wide-ranging assault on international terrorism and its supporters and financiers.

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    The US also blocked USD 200.19 million in funds of countries designated as sponsors of terrorism -- Iran, Sudan, Syria and North Korea.

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