The new designation prohibits any U.S. organization or individual from engaging in transactions with the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi leader.
The United States on Thursday added Malik Ishaq, leader of the extremist Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, to its list of most wanted terrorists.
According to a statement issued by the U.S. State Department: “The Department of State has designated Malik Ishaq, one of the co-founders of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LJ), as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist under Executive Order (E.O.) 13224.” Former president George W. Bush passed Executive Order 13224 in September 2001. It prohibits any U.S. organization or individual from engaging in transactions with Ishaq and freezes any assets owned by Ishaq that are currently in the U.S. or are in the possession of any U.S. citizens.
The statement also notes that Ishaq has accepted his culpability in terrorist actions in the past. “In 1997, Malik Ishaq admitted his involvement in terrorist activity that resulted in the deaths of over 100 Pakistanis,” it said, adding, “More recently, in February 2013, Pakistani police arrested Ishaq in connection with attacks on Jan. 10 and Feb. 16, 2013 in the northwestern city of Quetta, Pakistan that killed nearly 200 Pakistani civilians.”
The statement also reiterated and maintained Lashkar-e-Jhangvi on its list of foreign terrorist organizations. “LJ specializes in armed attacks and bombings and has admitted responsibility for numerous killings of Shia religious and civil society leaders in Pakistan,” it said. “The Department took these actions in consultation with the Departments of Justice and Treasury,” the statement added.
Ishaq created the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi in 1996, seven years after founding the defunct Sipah-e-Sahaba. He is accused of planning the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore in March 2009 and has spent around 15 years in jail on various charges.