China on Wednesday suspended a proposal submitted by India and the United States to the United Nations to list Pakistani Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist Shahid Mahmood as a global terrorist.
It is the fourth time in recent months that Beijing has staged bids to designate Pakistan-based terrorists under the UNSC sanctions regime.
Mahmood has been identified as a longtime senior member of the terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT). He has been a member of the group since 2007. The U.S. Government Treasury Department under the Obama administration identified Mahmood as a member of LeT’s publications wing in 2013.
The Treasury Department press release pointed out in 2016 that Mahmood said LeT’s main concern should be attacking India and America.
He is a close associate of Sajid Mir, the terrorist mastermind behind the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai and whose designation was also blocked by China at the UNSC in September.
Mahmood worked for the so-called humanitarian arm of the LeT, the Falah-i-Insaniat Foundation (FIF), which raises funds for terrorism under the guise of raising funds for humanitarian causes. He was the leader in Karachi until 2014.
Mahmood implicated in the radicalization of the Rohingyas?
The 2016 press release also reveals another minor detail that Mahmood traveled to Bangladesh to “distribute funds to a Burmese migrant camp” in an effort to facilitate LeT recruitment.
Although the press release does not directly state whether they were members of the Rohingya refugee community who were recruited by the LeT to carry out terrorist attacks. The governments of India and Bangladesh have previously highlighted in several forums the risk of radicalization among the Rohingya and how some of these immigrants fleeing persecution in Myanmar may be on their way to joining terrorist groups based in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Mahmood is also linked to Muhammad Sarwar and the two in the 2010s traveled to Gaza, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Syria and Turkey to carry out activities for LeT and FIF. It is unclear whether they were there to recruit and radicalize more young people to strengthen their ranks.
Both Sarwar and Mahmood were designated as Global Terrorists by the US Treasury during the Obama administration.
Mahmood, Sajid Mir, Makki and Sarwar have worked together on several projects. A 2016 PTI report states that Sarwar was the LeT Emir of Lahore and used the formal financial system in Pakistan to collect and move funds on behalf of the LeT.
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