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US designates Jamaatur Ahrar as ‘terrorist group’, sanctions imposed

WASHINGTON: The United States on Wednesday added Jamaatur Ahrar to its list of global terrorists and imposed sanctions on the terrorist group.

According to the US Department of State, the terrorist outfit, a Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP)’s splinter group that has staged multiple attacks on civilians, religious minorities and soldiers has been designated as ‘terrorist group’ by the US, triggering sanctions against it and its facilitator organisations.

“The designation means anyone who supports Jamaatur Ahrar could have their assets frozen by the US government,” said the State Department in a statement.

Jamaatur Ahrar is a splinter faction of the Pakistani Taliban movement that has also declared loyalty to Islamic State (IS)’s leadership in the Middle East.


The group claimed responsibility for at least five major attacks in Pakistan since December, including the Easter Sunday bombing in Lahore’s Gulshan-e-Iqbal public park that killed 72 people.

Jamaatur Ahrar has not yet commented on the designation.

Pakistan has also cracked down on terrorist groups that target its own citizens and institutions, including the Pakistani Taliban who are trying to install a strict interpretation of Islamic law.

Most recently, a paramilitary crackdown was launched in Punjab after the park bombing in Lahore.


M M Alam

M. M. Alam is a Pakistan-based working journalist since 1981. Karachi University faculty gold medalist Alam began his career four decades ago by writing for Dawn, Pakistan’s highest circulating English daily. He has worked for region’s leading publications, global aviation periodicals including Rotors (of USA) and vetted New York Times as permanent employee of daily Express Tribune. Alam regularly covers international aviation and defense-related events including Salon Du Bourget (France), Farnborough (United Kingdom), Dubai (UAE). Alam has reported thousands of events and interviewed hundreds of people in Pakistan, UAE, EU, UK and USA. Being Francophone Alam also coordinates with a number of French publications.