How FBI Has Been Busting LeT's Funding

9 March 2009
The Times of India


Mumbai: The US government's Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), for the past many years, has been involved in not only cracking down on Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operatives on American soil, but also going after those who help raise funds for the terrorist organisation. The FBI resumed a direct role in investigations against the LeT in India only after the 26-11 attack on Mumbai, but a testimony given by its current director Robert S Mueller III before a Senate Judicial Committee in December 2006 throws light on how the FBI has been helping bust banks and charitable organisations in America that were acting as fronts to raise funds for LeT. Mueller told the committee that in 2001, the FBI launched a secret operation code named 'Operation Blackbear' that revealed that three men were remitting large amounts of money to Yemen from where it was reaching jihadi elements in Kashmir. Two of these men,_Mohammed Al-Moayyed and Mohammed Zayed_were arrested in Germany in 2003 and deported to USA. In March 2005, a court sentenced Al-Moayyed to 75 years in jail and Zayed to 45 years. The FBI also managed to recover $ 25 million that was on its way to terror outfits in Kashmir. In 2001, the FBI led a massive investigation against a charitable organisation called Global Relief Fund (GRF) that was found raising money for extremists in Kashmir, Afghanistan and Chechnya. The GRF was disrupted and its chairman, Rabbih Haddad, was kept in jail for two years and deported to Lebanon. A Kashmiri truck driver from Ohio, Iyman Faris, was arrested by FBI in 2002 and found guilty of eliciting supporting for terrorist networks. He was sentenced to 20 years in jail. Most recently, in September 2007, the FBI got its hands on Osama Abdullah Kassir, a man of Lebanese origin and citizen of Sweden. Kassir confessed that he had trained with terrorist groups in Kashmir and was busy rallying support from them in Europe. He was deported to USA from the Czech Republic and is currently in custody. Experts say most of the funds for LeT come from the so-called charitable organisations that act as a front for the terror group. The most prominent amongst them is Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) in Pakistan, which runs hospitals and ambulance services but routes most of the donations it gets to LeT.