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Leaked Cables on Saudi Arabia: Pakistani Terrorist Group Fundraises in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf

(August 10, 2009)

Classified U.S. diplomatic cables, leaked by the whistleblower site WikiLeaks, contain descriptions of how Muhammad Saeed, the effective leader of Pakistani Islamist militant terrorist group Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, fundraises in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf through charitable donations and front companies.

Monday, 10 August 2009, 23:56
S E C R E T STATE 083026
EO 12958 DECL: 08/07/2019
REF: STATE 65044
Classified By: IO">IO">IO Assistant Secretary Esther Brimmer for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)

1. (U) This is an action request. Please see paragraphs 4-6.




2. (SBU) In May 2009, legal representatives for 1267-listed entity Jamaat-ud-Dawah (identified by the UN 1267 Committee as an alias for Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, permanent reference number QE.L.118.05) and its leader, Muhammad Saeed (permanent reference number QI.S.263.08) petitioned on their clients behalf for delisting via the UN focal point. The focal point, which was established in the UN Secretariat pursuant to UNSCR 1730 to allow listed individuals/entities (or their representatives) to petition directly for de-listing, forwarded the de-listing request on behalf of JUD and Saeed for review to the USG (designating state) and to the Government of Pakistan (state of citizenship/residence/incorporation). The USG and GOP have had three months to review the de-listing petition. We have completed our review and plan to notify the UN focal point on August 25 of our opposition to de-listing. Before doing so, we would like to take this opportunity to: -- share the results of our review of the de-listing petition for JUD and Muhammad Saeed with Pakistani officials; -- seek GOP views on the request; -- underscore our ongoing concern over the threat posed by LeT/JUD and Saeed; -- ask Pakistani officials to update us on actions taken to impose UN 1267 sanctions on LeT/JUD and Saeed.




3. (S) On December 10, 2008, the UN 1267 Committee took several actions related to the terrorist group Lashkar-e-Tayibba (LeT), including its listing of Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JUD) as an alias for LeT, as well as the listing of JUD's leader, Muhammad Saeed. The Committee in 2005 added LeT to its Consolidated List citing its affiliation with al-Qaida. The addition of the JUD alias, as well as the listing of Saeed, followed closely on the heels of the LeT-perpetrated attacks in Mumbai, India, in November 2008. Prior to the attacks, our request to list JUD and Saeed were placed on hold by China at the behest of Pakistan. In spite of Pakistani acquiescence to the listings in December 2008, we continue to see reporting indicating that JUD is still operating in multiple locations in Pakistan, and that the group continues to openly raise funds. It is unclear what, if any, steps the GOP has taken to freeze JUD's assets or otherwise implement UN 1267 sanctions, which include an asset freeze, travel ban, and arms embargo.




4. (SBU) USUN is requested to inform the focal point on August 25, after both USUN and Islamabad have had a chance to inform Pakistani officials of our views, of our opposition to the de-listing request on behalf of JUD and Muhammad Saeed. In its communication to the focal point, USUN should refute the assertion in Saeed's and his legal representatives claim in the focal point de-listing petition that "there are no grounds for placing Saeed and JUD on the Consolidated List and the material relied upon is incorrect and baseless" and note that we stand by the information included in the statements of case we submitted (co-sponsored by the UK and France) to the UN 1267 Committee to add JUD and Saeed to the Consolidated List. USUN should further state that we have seen no evidence of a change in circumstance warranting de-listing of JUD or Saeed.

5. (SBU) USUN and Embassy Islamabad should inform Pakistani officials in New York and Islamabad, respectively, of our opposition to the de-listing petition for JUD and Saeed. Action addressees may wish to draw upon the following points:

-- We have reviewed the de-listing petition from attorneys on behalf of Jamaat-ud Dawa (JUD) and its leader Hafiz Saeed and will soon inform the UN 1267 Committee, via the UN focal point, of our opposition to de-listing.

-- We first wanted to share our views with Pakistani officials, and to seek Pakistan's view on the de-listing petition.

-- As you are no doubt aware, we are deeply concerned about the threat posed by LeT/JUD, and reject Saeed's and his legal representatives claim in the focal point de-listing petition that "there are no grounds for placing Saeed and JUD on the Consolidated List and the material relied upon is incorrect and baseless."

-- In fact, LeT and JUD stem from the same original organization, Markaz-ud-Dawawal-Irshad (MDI). When LeT was declared a terrorist organization in Pakistan in 2002, MDI publicly divested itself of LeT at that time and renamed itself JUD. LeT transferred most of its assets and personnel to the newly formed JUD, ensuring its survival.

-- We believe that LeT uses JUD facilities as a public front for its activities and shares offices, phone numbers, personnel and bank accounts. LeT's old offices merely changed the name on the door.

-- JUD's budget, using funds from both witting and unwitting donors, is dedicated to social services and/or humanitarian relief but some is used to finance LeT operations.

-- We are also aware that LeT and JUD share many senior leaders, including Hafiz Saeed, who according to information available to the USG, as of 2009 continued to control LeT and issue guidance to LeT members.

-- We would like here your views on the status of LeT/JUD and Saeed, and would particularly appreciate an update on steps Pakistan has taken or will take to implement UN 1267 sanctions on them.

6. (S/REL to Pakistan) Embassy Islamabad is also requested to share a non-paper, included below in paragraph 7, prepared by our intelligence community in February 2009 assessing JUD's links to LeT. This non-paper, which was previously passed by former S/CT Coordinator Dell Daily to Pakistani Ambassador to the United States Husain Haqqani, provides more detailed information on our concerns about LeT/JUD and Saeed that underpin our view that their listing by the UN 1267 Committee was and remains appropriate.


(U//FOUO) Assessing Jamaat-ud-Dawa's Links to Lashkar-e-Tayyiba


(S//REL) The Community assesses that LT, a Pakistan-based terrorist group, uses the JUD name as an alias. JUD is a religious, educational, and humanitarian organization that the Community assesses provides cover and protection for LT's militant activities in Pakistan. LT and JUD share many senior leaders; LT falls under the authority of JUD leader Hafiz Muhammad Saeed; and JUD supports and facilitates LT's violent activities. - LT and JUD stem from the same original organization*Markaz-ud-Dawawal-Irshad (MDI)*that was founded around 1986 and for which LT served as its armed, militant wing. MDI was renamed JUD in December 2001. - LT was declared a terrorist organization in January 2002, and MDI publicly divested itself of the LT at that time. LT transferred most of its assets and personnel under the newly formed JUD.

(S//REL) The Community assesses that JUD relies heavily on private donations, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), madrassas, and businesses spread throughout South Asia, the Middle East, and Europe. Some of the money to finance LT operations is obtained by fraudulently redirecting donations intended for humanitarian work.

(S//REL) JUD and LT have branch offices with different names and have adopted a number of aliases as a denial and deception tactic.


(C//REL) Various Names and Aliases

(S//REL) The Intelligence Community assesses that Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LT) and Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JUD) are part of the same organization, originally called Markaz-ud-Dawawal-Irshad (MDI), that was founded by Hafiz Muhammed Saeed and other faculty at the University of Engineering and Technology in Lahore in 1986. MDI was established with funding from donors in the Middle East and set up camps to prepare its personnel to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan.

MDI reorganized after the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan in 1989, creating LT as its paramilitary wing to fight in the Indian-controlled districts of Jammu and Kashmir while MDI focused on religious and humanitarian activity. Saeed led both MDI and LT during the 1990s.

When the US declared LT a terrorist organization in December 2001, MDI reorganized*changing its name to JUD to draw a distinction between its charitable and educational work and LT's militant activities*in an effort by MDI leaders to shield their fundraising and other activities from sanctions. Saeed publicly resigned from LT, telling the media that he had assumed the leadership of JUD. In mid-January 2002, LT was banned.

Islamabad "watchlisted" JUD in 2003, but the government has resisted pressure to take action against the group, particularly after JUD,s popular earthquake relief efforts in 2005 and 2006 in response to the October 2005 earthquake in Pakistan.

LT has used JUD facilities as a public front for its activities and, shared offices, phone numbers, leaders, and bank accounts. LT members identified themselves as JUD when in Pakistan and as LT when in Kashmir.

LT/JUD purportedly raises funds for the Palestinian people in response to Israel's attacks on Gaza. The Community judges that as of January, JUD also may be operating under the alias Tehreek-e-Hurmat-e-Rasool. LT's political affairs coordinator Khalid Waleed identified himself in late December as the chief organizer for a conference for Tehreek-e-Hurmat-e-Rasool, according to intelligence reporting. - On 6 February, the JUD held a Kashmir Solidarity Conference at which JUD renamed itself Tehreek-e-Azadi-e-Kashmir (TAK). At JUD,s first public protest since December, supporters used old JUD banners and chanted JUD slogans, but rallied under the name TAK to avoid arrest.


(U//FOUO) UN Links Jamaat-ud-Dawa to Terrorism

(S//REL) The United Nations (UN) banned Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JUD), and on 10 December, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee (the 1267 Committee) approved the addition of JUD as a new LT alias for targeted sanctions. This UN designation required all UN member states to freeze any assets this entity may have under the member states' jurisdiction, impose a travel ban, and implement an arms embargo against them as set out in paragraph 1 of UNSC Resolution 1822 of 2008.

(S//REL) The Community assesses that LT/JUD, in an attempt to evade restrictions, has established branch offices with different names and adopted a number of aliases. One branch, Idara Khidmat-e-Khalq, is a publicly acknowledged charitable arm of JUD and has its own web page with photos of hospitals and ambulances. Other aliases include Paasbaan-e-Ahle-Hadith, Paasban-e-Kashmir, Al-Mansoorian, and Al-Nasaryeen. We assess that LT and LT-associated militants will continue to use aliases in order to circumvent restrictions on their movement and operations.


(U//FOUO) Financial Support

(S//REL) The Community assesses that JUD fundraising has relied heavily on private donations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), madrassas, and businesses spread throughout South Asia, the Middle East, and Europe. Some of JUD's budget, using funds raised both from witting donors and by fraud, is dedicated to social services or humanitarian relief projects, while some is used to finance LT operations. - In December 2005, an official of Idara Khidmat-e-Khalq forwarded JUD donation receipts to a probable LT front company in Saudi Arabia where an LT finance official may have been closely associated with the general manager*possibly acting as a front for moving LT funds, according to intelligence reporting. - Makki in 2002 frequently visited the Middle East and viewed it as a main source of funding. To demonstrate results to donors, JUD would finance the cost of building a new school or upgrading facilities at a madrassa, but would inflate the cost to siphon money to LT.

(S//REL) The Community lacks sufficient intelligence to determine if or how the November Mumbai attacks have affected donations to JUD. Some donors may be dissuaded from supporting JUD if they become aware that their funds may be used for additional terrorist attacks, whereas other donors may support LT's attacks. As public and government scrutiny increases in the wake of the attacks and subsequent designation of JUD as an alias of LT by the UN, we assess that JUD will rely more on covert fundraising efforts.

(U//FOUO) Leadership

(S//REL) The Community assesses that Saeed is the leader of LT and Lakvi is LT's operations commander*and they continue to run the organization despite being detained for their role in the November Mumbai attacks. We also judge that they have planned, directed, and executed LT attacks throughout South Asia and likely have used some funds collected in the name of JUD's charitable activities to support multiple LT terrorist operations, including the November Mumbai attacks. The Community assesses that Saeed continues to lead both organizations. However, the Community is unable to assess to what extent senior JUD leaders such as Saeed are involved in specific terrorist operations or the level of detail to which they are knowledgeable about specific past and pending attacks. - As of mid-July Lakvi was responsible for the LT's military operations budget of PKR 365 million (approximately US $5.2 million) per year. He reportedly used the money to purchase all materials required for LT operations other than weapons and ammunition, according to a source claiming direct and ongoing access to LT leaders.





8. (U) Action addressees should report as soon as possible but no later than August 19 results of their demarche to Pakistani officials .

9. (U) Questions may be directed to IO">IO">IO/PSC (Erin Crowe, 202-736-7847). CLINTON

Sources: Wikileaks