US Designates Indian Militant Group Terrorist Organization

Posted September 15th, 2011 at 5:10 pm (UTC-5)
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The United States has placed an Indian militant group with close links to Pakistan on its list of terrorist organizations.

In a statement Thursday, the State Department said the Indian Mujahideen has “significant ties” to several U.S.-designated terrorist entities, including Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba blamed for the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai.

The statement said the group has been responsible for dozens of deadly bomb attacks throughout India since 2005.

The U.S. designation of the Indian Mujahideen as a terrorist organization prohibits American citizens from providing support to the militant group. The group's assets in the U.S. will also be frozen.

In New Delhi meanwhile, Indian Home Minister P. Chidambaram described recent terror attacks on Indian soil as a “blot” on the government, and said the challenge of terrorism requires a comprehensive strategy of counterterrorism.

Chidambaram told a conference of senior law enforcers and security personnel Thursday that Pakistan and Afghanistan remain “the epicenter of terror,” but that India must also take seriously threats from within.

Some of the attacks blamed on the Indian militant group include last year's bombing of a German bakery in the city of Pune, which killed 17 people. The State Department says the Indian Mujahideen was also responsible for a 2008 blast in the Indian capital, New Delhi, that killed 30 people, and a series of bombings in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad that killed 38 people that same year.

The State Department says the Indian Mujahideen's goal is to carry out terrorist attacks against non-Muslims to further its ultimate objective of establishing a caliphate across South Asia that would unify the region's countries under sharia, or Islamic law.