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Lashkar, Jaish in new US 'terrorist exclusion list'

Lashkar, Jaish in new US 'terrorist exclusion list'

Author: Reuters
Publication: www.expressindia.com
Date: December 8, 2001
URL: http://www.expressindia.com/fullstory.php?newsid=5274

Washington, December 7: The US State Department said that it had put 39 groups, charities and companies on a newly created "terrorist exclusion list," giving authorities the power to deport members or deny them visas. Most of the groups are already on other US lists of "terrorist organisations" and subject to financial controls, but were not specifically subject to US visa restrictions. Attorney General John Ashcroft had asked the State Department to put 46 groups on the new list, which is required under the USA PATRIOT Act signed by President George W. Bush on Oct. 26. The State Department listed 33 of those and added six of its own, a State Department official said.

The list includes groups and companies from Afghanistan, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Northern Ireland, Pakistan, the Philippines, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Turkey, Uganda and Yemen. "By designating these groups, the Secretary (of State Colin Powell) has strengthened the United States' ability to exclude supporters of terrorism from the country or to deport them if they are found within our borders," State Department spokesman Philip Reeker said in a statement.

"We will continue to expand the list as we identify and confirm additional entities that provide support to terrorists," the statement added. The new list is a fourth US government list of "terrorist organisations" and adds to the confusion about what restrictions apply to which groups. The other lists are of "foreign terrorist organisations" (FTOs), a Treasury Department list of 153 entities subject to tight financial controls and a State Department list of "other terrorist groups", which are not subject to legal measures. The new designation introduces visa restrictions for some of the "other terrorist groups" such as the Kashmiri groups Lashkar-e-Toiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed and the Irish groups Orange Volunteers and the Red hand Defenders.

It also excludes from the United States members or associates of the many obscure groups, charities and commercial companies whose assets were ordered frozen in an executive order issued on Oct. 12. The United States says these had links with al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. This category includes confectionery shops in Yemen and a variety of Islamic charities, several of which have disclaimed any connections with bin Laden's organisation. The original Justice Department request was even broader and included several obscure and largely defunct organisations, such as the Breton Resistance Army of France.

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