US adds Pakistani Taliban to its terror list

10:48, September 02, 2010      

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The Obama administration designated the Pakistani Taliban a terrorist group and federal prosecutors filed criminal charges against its leader.

U.S. counterterrorism officials say the group, which is also known as the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, or TTP, financed and provided training to the suspect who attempted the failed May 1 bombing in New York's Times Square. The group claimed responsibility for that attempt and the December 30 suicide bombing that killed seven Central Intelligence Agency employees at a base near Khost, Afghanistan.

The State Department said Wednesday it added the group to the U.S. list of terrorist organizations, which opens the way for broad sanctions aimed at cutting off financial support the TTP gets overseas.

The State Department also designated the group's leader, Hakimullah Mehsud, and another top operative, Wali Ur Rehman, as "specially designated global terrorists," offering a bounty of as much as $5 million for information leading to their capture.

Separately, the Justice Department filed a criminal complaint and arrest warrant for Mehsud related to the CIA base bombing.

The TTP emerged in 2007 as an umbrella group of militants inspired by the Afghan Taliban movement, which ruled that country and hosted al Qaeda terrorists until the NATO invasion after the September 11, 2001, terror attacks in the U.S. The group is believed to have carried out the 2007 assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

Source: Agencies


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