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#TERRORWATCH: Turkish involvement with Pakistan and India Islamists an alarming development


Turkey’s involvement in South Asia through Islamist groups like Popular Front of India (PFI), known to be an Islamist organization, is an alarming development for those watching global terror networks, and these linkages are not just limited to India, but to Pakistan and Syria also, through organizations like Al Qaeda and the ISIS (Islamic State). 

PFI was launched in 2007 and is believed to be new front for the National Development Front (NDF) which was banned in 2001 by Indian authorities for its involvement in terrorism. Reportedly, NDF had also received funding from Pakistan and Iran. PFI also has linkages to Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI). PFI’s National Executive Council member, P. Koya held high positions in NDF and SIMI respectively. Similarly, PFI vice president EM Abdul Rahiman and E. Abu Bakar both held top positions at SIMI.

There are recent reports by independent Turkish media that say PFI was also hosted in Turkey. A Turkish intelligence-linked jihadist charity group networked with PFI as part of the Turkish government’s outreach to Muslim communities in the South Asia region. 

According to a Nordic Monitor investigation, two key leaders of the PFI, E. M. Abdul Rahiman and Prof. P. Koya (members of the National Executive Council of the PFI) were privately hosted in Istanbul by the Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief (İnsan Hak ve Hürriyetleri ve İnsani Yardım Vakfı, or IHH), an al-Qaeda-linked Turkish charity. İHH has been banned in Germany and Israel due to its terror support activities.

Tasleem Rehmani, E. M. Abdul Rahiman, Prof. P Koya meeting with key members of İHH (Photo: Nordic Monitor)

The meeting was held at IHH headquarters in Istanbul on October 20, 2018 and attended by IHH Secretary-General Durmuş Aydın and IHH Vice President Hüseyin Oruç. The representatives of both organizations discussed promoting a partnership in various fields.

The IHH is known to be have close links to the Turkish intelligence service MIT. The IHH has also been accused of smuggling arms to al-Qaeda-affiliated jihadists in Syria in January 2014 in a counterterrorism investigation conducted by Turkish prosecutors. 

The investigation into a Turkish al-Qaeda cell found that İbrahim Şen, a top al-Qaeda operative who was detained in Pakistan and jailed at Guantanamo until 2005 before he was turned over to Turkey, his brother Abdurrahman Şen and others were sending arms, supplies and funds to al-Qaeda groups in Syria with the help of Turkey’s intelligence service.

Pakistan’s Simulated Terror Crackdown


Islamabad is all set to stage an elaborate drama in preparation for the on-site visit by the officials from the global terror financing watchdog Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to verify the implementation of Pakistan’s relevant anti-money laundering and terrorism-financing reforms. The Pakistani establishment has all the paperwork for a counter-terrorism mechanism in place, but the reality is rather different. It has released a slew of national security and counter-terrorism documents, but there has been no impact on terrorism-related threat reduction from Pakistan. The country may be removed from the FATF grey list after an on-site visit which may verify the implementation of its reforms on countering terror-financing mechanisms.

But certain issues must be kept in mind by the FATF when this visit occurs. For example, in keeping with the farce that Pakistan habitually puts up, there is the recent case of India-focused terrorist Sajid Majeed Mir. One of New Delhi’s most wanted, the US had placed a bounty of USD 5 million on Sajid Majeed Mir – who is part of the banned Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) for his role in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks that left 166 people dead, including six Americans. 

Pakistani authorities had in the past claimed he had died but Western countries remained unconvinced and demanded proof of his death. This issue became a major sticking point in FATF’s assessment of Pakistan’s progress on the action plan late last year. This was where things finally started moving in Mir’s case leading to his “arrest”. This month an anti-terrorism court in Lahore handed down 15 and a half years jail term to Sajid Majeed Mir, in a terror-financing case.


The “project manager” of the Mumbai attacks, Sajid Mir reportedly had visited India in 2005 using a fake passport with a fake name. Mir allegedly served as the chief planner of the attacks, directing preparations and reconnaissance, and was one of the Pakistan-based controllers during the attacks. Mir is allegedly also the brain behind the Denmark bombing operation codenamed ‘Micky Mouse’, referring to the publishing of cartoons of the ‘Prophet’ in the Danish newspaper Jyllands Posten. 

In 2007, a French court convicted a French national Willie Brigitte for planning terrorist attacks in Australia in 2003 in conjunction with Mir, the LeT’s suspected chief of external operations. Yet, Mir remained elusive until now when Pakistan desperately seeks the FATF grey-list exit. Pakistan, is trying to mislead the agency by declaring that it had arrested and prosecuted Sajid Mir. 

The arrest of Mir after nearly 14 years is evidence not of Pakistan’s effort but insincerity towards any genuine effort at counter-terrorism. His conviction and sentencing were so-called major achievements that Pakistani officials showcased in their progress report given to FATF on its action plan during the latest plenary. 

But the reality is that no action was taken by Pakistan when the US country report on terrorism in 2019 indicated his presence in Pakistan. International intel sources, too, said that he had been seen at the Muridke camp of the Lashkar-e-Taiba.

Unfortunately, despite being on the FBI’s Most Wanted list, Mir was not on the United Nations Security Council Resolution list (UNSCR 1267) which imposes sanctions against terrorists and their entities. This posed a challenge to counter-terrorism efforts of global agencies who were trying to catch and prosecute him. In absence of the UN sanctions, Pakistan’s ISI apparently continued to support him and ensure his unhindered activities in Pakistan. Some on ground reports suggest that the Pakistani military establishment may even have facilitated the alteration of his appearance through plastic surgery. 


In the absence of any action against him and his connections with the Pakistani deep state, Mir, had in fact been trying to maximize the global footprint of Lashkar-e-Taiba.

Brigitte from France, David Headley from the US and Faheem Lodhi from Australia were the discoveries of Mir. Brigitte, in his interrogation, had described Mir as “Uncle Bill” who was fluent in Arabic, Urdu and English.

Pakistan’s counter-terrorism policy remains ill-equipped to respond to challenges like the resurgence of the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), rising sectarianism, and congenial environment for Kashmir-focused groups that have evaded counterterrorism scrutiny. 

While the anti-terror policy is in place on paper, it is very clear that there is lukewarm political support for action against radical entities in Pakistan. 


Take for instance the case of Jamat e Dawa (ex Lashkar e Taiba) chief Hafiz Saeed, a Specially Designated Global Terrorist who has allegedly been sentenced to 68 years imprisonment in terror-financing cases by the Lahore Anti-terrorism court. But the fact is that his sentence is running concurrently, which means he will not have to spend many more years in jail. 

One should recall how the exiled military dictator, General Pervez Musharraf would ridicule any talk of Pakistan hiding Osama, declaring that OBL was “probably dead, and definitely not in Pakistan”. And of course, the world witnessed how US Seals located him in a hideout in Abbottabad in 2011. Then there is the case of Baitullah Mehsud of the Tehreek- e- Taliban Pakistan (TTP) who backed the assassin who killed former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto in 2007. He was declared “untraceable”, even “dead” in an encounter. But he surfaced in 2008 to deny any involvement.

The latest arrest of Sajid Mir also has a diplomatic angle. The new government of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif is keen on mending fences with the United States and up to a point, India, ostensibly, under American persuasion. But only words have come forth. Pakistan has acted this way in the past as well, under Washington’s persuasion. In this game these gestures on part of Pakistan are only to clear the International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan that it urgently requires and for removal from the FATF grey-list. Through the release of successive national security related documents, and one-off arrests like that of Sajid Mir, Pakistan is deliberately and typically engaging in strategic manipulation to mislead the international community about the verity of its counter-terrorism effort or lack thereof.

Why did the Pakistan Army Chief choose to stay low-profile in his recent visit to France?


The Pakistan Army Chief General Qamar Bajwa visited Paris, France this month to attend the Eurosatory International Defence and Security Exhibition from June 13th to June 17th, 2022.

But to everyone’s surprise in the International and especially the Pakistani media, there was no mention of this visit or the meetings he held, with no press release issued by the Pakistani military media wing. Insiders say he kept a very low profile and did not even attend official dinners by the French organizers of the exhibition.

Sources close to the Pakistan embassy say that the country’s mission (which lacks an ambassador due to poor Pak-French relations) was apparently not even involved in the visit. “General Bajwa probably kept a low profile in France so not to upset the Islamist extremist groups back home, which consider France a blasphemous country,” observed a reporter working in Paris for Pakistani media. 

At the forefront of such anti French Islamist extremist groups that General Bajwa does not want to upset is Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), a political party that is known to have close links to the Pakistani military. Efforts to ban the party on terror charges by Pakistan’s civilian leadership have failed and in recent years the TLP has gained more popularity in the country, becoming an electoral force that has won seats in the parliament. 


TLP first emerged to the scene as a pressure group against former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s government in 2017. The ex-PM is known for his opposition to the military, and was ousted from power in 1999 in a military coup and sent into exile by General Pervez Musharraf, the then Pakistan army chief (who ruled the country from 1999 to 2008 until his own ouster).

Fast forward to 2017 – Sharif returns to power and once again becomes a headache for the military. So to weaken his government, the military reportedly orchestrated protests against the government, unleashing the Islamist group TLP this time, which made up claims that some government ministers had committed blasphemy. Eventually the Sharif government gave in to the demands of the extremist group, and fired one of its ministers to placate the protesters. But they only went home after the military stepped in and gave “assurances”.

In 2018, the Islamist party received more than two million votes in the general election, showing its strength across Pakistan.


The Islamist group then made headlines after it launched a campaign against France when Paris-based satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo republished cartoons depicting Prophet Mohammed – an act deemed blasphemous by Muslims. The cartoons were reprinted to mark the beginning of the trial against those involved in the attack at the magazine Paris headquarters in 2015. 

In response, the TLP took the streets and demanded the expulsion of the French ambassador in Islamabad, and an end to Pak-French diplomatic ties. It almost stormed the French embassy in Islamabad during the protests that left several people dead and paralyzed the capital city. Eventually, the Islamist group agreed to back off after the then government of Prime Minister Imran Khan promised to take up their demands in the Pakistani parliament.

But just like in 2017, the group suddenly fizzled out, which many say was because the military became involved again. It is unclear whether the military orchestrated these protests to teach Khan’s government a lesson (which finally got ousted allegedly by the military earlier this year) or did the Pakistan Army want to settle a score with France, as the two countries have had a turbulent relations since the early 2000s when 12 French submarine engineers were killed in a suicide bombing attack in the southern Pakistani port city – Karachi. There are reports that suggest that terrorists who killed the engineers may have had linkages to the Pakistani military, and carried out the attack in revenge against the French government, after it refused to pay kickbacks to officials in Pakistan for awarding contracts to French companies.


Owing to such history between the two countires – in the past and in recent times, it appears that the Pakistan Army Chief deliberately kept a low profile when he was in Paris and may have instructed his PR machine to stay quiet about it and not share it with the media, as is the case, normally when he goes on a visit internationally. Furthermore, it appears the general did not want to attract the attention of Pakistani Islamist groups, especially at a time when he is already facing backlash in the country for orchestrating the fall of Imran Khan’s government.

20 years of “the Karachi affair” and worsening Pak-French ties


This May marks the 20th anniversary of the tragic terror attack in Karachi that left several French engineers dead in a bombing believed to be planned by Pakistani intelligence operatives. 

Now called the Karachi Affair – on 8th May 2002, a suicide bomber exploded his vehicle near a bus outside a well-known Karachi hotel, killing 14 people traveling, among them 11 French naval engineers, who were working on a submarine project for the Pakistani navy. 

Pakistani authorities blamed Islamist militants, but there were suspicions that the bombing was an act of revenge after then-French President Jacques Chirac ordered the payments of secret arms deal commissions to stop.


A French court last year handed a suspended jail term to Francois Leotard (former defence minister of Edouard Balladur’s government which was in power during the nineties) for his hand in allowing corruption in these said arms deals. 

Several other French government officials at that time were also found involved in approving payment of the commissions to intermediaries in the sale of three submarines to Pakistan. 

These facts came to light while French prosecutors were investigating the Karachi affair and they found members of the French ruling class involved, with investigators looking into allegations that kickbacks from the arms sales to Pakistan helped fund the failed 1995 presidential primary campaign of Edouard Balladur. 


There are also reports that the murder of American journalist, Daniel Pearl, just three months before the bus bombing, was also carried out in connivance with Pakistani state operatives. Pearl was kidnapped on a reporting mission in Karachi and the involvement of state operatives became obvious when one of the demands made by his kidnappers after his abduction also pointed to a possible ulterior motive.

In two emails sent just after his kidnapping, his captors listed a number of conditions for the release of their hostage, one of which was for the United States to deliver the F-16 fighter jets that Pakistan had paid for but never received due to a diplomatic wrangle. 

This has led to further belief among the French investigators that the bus bombing was also a revenge attack. 


Today, two decades later, the French state continues to hold those involved accountable in the Karachi affair, with jailing six other officials but the Pakistani state operatives have evaded justice. Not only that, Pakistan has pursued an anti France agenda in recent years, perhaps in response to the allegations it has faced over the killings of French nationals. 

An Islamist violent extremist group Tehreek e Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) known have close ties to the Pakistani army has organized several anti France protests in recent years in the country and its leaders have called for attacking the French embassy in Islamabad on more than one occasion. The reason – the group says the newly re-elected French President Emmanuel Macron has blasphemed by supporting anti Islam cartoons. 

Such anti France Islamist radicalization has not led to violence in Pakistan but also in France. 


In the last few years, Pakistani radicals in France have carried out attacks against people for committing so-called blasphemy. 

In 2018, an Irish university lecturer was stabbed to death by one of his former students for allegedly ‘insulting the Prophet Mohammed’. The 66-year-old academic, named locally as John Dowling, was attacked and stabbed 13 times outside the Paris university where he worked. Police said Ali R., a 37-year-old Pakistani national was involved and had been arrested. After the killing, Ali told police that the teacher had made fun of his Muslim religion during English classes at the university.

Then in 2020, Zaheer Hassan Mahmood, a Pakistani man living illegally in Paris was caught after he stabbed and injured two people outside the former offices of the Charlie Hebdo magazine. Police say he was radicalised by videos of preachers in Pakistan and anti-France demonstrations back in his country.

The 26-year-old had spent the days leading up to his knife attack watching extremist preachers on YouTube and TikTok denouncing France and Charlie Hebdo.

Reportedly, Mahmood watched videos by protest leader Khadim Hussain Rizvi, the late founder of TLP party, and other radical preachers. He was also influenced by former Prime Minister Imran Khan, who in speeches when in power had accused Macron of “attacking Islam”.

Owing to the so called blasphemous cartoon controversy, Pakistan is yet to post its regular ambassador to France. Although with a new government in power in Islamabad, there have been efforts to reset the ties, but without much progress, given Pakistan’s known duplicity in the past and lack of accountability, even today.

Imran Khan whipping up anti West sentiment among Pakistanis living abroad can lead to dangerous consequences – ANALYSIS


Since being ousted out of power some three weeks ago, former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has repeatedly targeted the United States and the West for being responsible for his ouster.

On Monday, he once again took to the microblogging website Twitter to post tweets demanding answers directly from the US President Joe Biden’s administration over his ouster and calling upon the Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) to form a judicial commission to probe the US-backed conspiracy to oust his government.

In one of the tweets Khan said: “Clearly, the US wants an obedient puppet as PM who will not allow Pak choice of neutrality in a European war; a PM who will be obedient to US demands; who will not sign agreements with Russia & who will downgrade our strategic r’ship with China. If a PM asserts Pak’s sovereignty & an indep[endent] foreign policy he will be removed & a subservient, crooked PM like Shahbaz Sharif will be brought in.”

Khan has always resonated with Pakistanis living abroad and following such anti-Western rhetoric, several Pakistanis across the globe have come out in large numbers to denounce the involvement of the United States and the West in Pakistan, and have threatened to march towards US embassies around the world, as witnessed in the street agitations organized in London, United Kingdom.

Overseas Pakistanis have also been posting videos showing them tearing or setting fire to green passports. In one such recent video (reportedly from the United States) which went viral, three men can be seen burning Pakistani passports in a barbeque grill and condemning the removal of Imran Khan, calling it a Western conspiracy.

In the UK, protests were held in London, Bradford, Glasgow, Manchester and Nottingham. Reportedly, in a video message on social media, Imran Khan’s UK spokesperson Sahibzada Jahangir urged PTI supporters to march to the US embassy in London and protest against the foreign interference by America.

Similar protests have been witnessed in the US, France, Germany and several Gulf countries in the Middle East.

In one such protest in Saudi Arabia, several Pakistanis shouted slogans at the current Pakistani government’s entourage when they were visiting Masjid e Nabvi – the main mosque in Medina city considered as one of the holiest sites for Muslims. Following this protest, Imran Khan and his political party’s leadership in Pakistan are now being prosecuted by the Pakistani state for orchestrating such a move and therefore committing blasphemy, as they desecrated the sanctity of the holy mosque by raising abusive slogans there. In Medina, few of the organizers have also been arrested and are expected to pay heavy fines and spend time in prison before being deported.

Interestingly, when Khan was in power (and even before him becoming the PM), he used blasphemy laws to his advantage against his political opponents and also led an international campaign over Islamophobia, denouncing blasphemous cartoons published by the French media.

Such Islamist radicalization by Khan and now by the new government, along with the whipping of anti Western-sentiment is a dangerous game that Pakistani politicians are playing, as it will only lead to common Pakistani at home and abroad taking laws in their own hands, and ending up in trouble with local and foreign authorities.

US authorities slap $55m fine on National Bank of Pakistan for anti-money laundering violations, compliance failures


US authorities fined National Bank of Pakistan $55 million in separate orders, with the US Federal Reserve Board announcing a $20.4-million penalty for anti-money laundering violations, while New York State Department of Financial Services said the bank agreed to pay a $35-million penalty for failure to maintain an ‘effective and compliant anti-money laundering program’.

The US Federal Reserve Board announcement can be found here.

Similarly, Superintendent of Financial Services Adrienne A Harris announced that NBP and its New York branch have agreed to pay $35 million in penalties pursuant to a Consent Order entered into with the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS).

“The Consent Order resolves the Department’s investigation into compliance deficiencies at the Branch with respect to Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering (BSA/AML) requirements,” the statement added.

“The National Bank of Pakistan allowed serious compliance deficiencies in its New York branch to persist for years despite repeated regulatory warnings,” said Superintendent Harris. “Foreign banks that enjoy the privilege of operating in New York have an obligation to maintain effective controls, and the Department will continue to promote financial transparency and take action to protect the global financial system when those obligations are not met.”

It said that following examinations conducted by the Department and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (FRBNY) in 2014 and 2015, the New York branch was found to have inadequate BSA/AML compliance programs, serious issues with its transaction monitoring system, and significant shortcomings in managerial oversight.

“As a result, in 2016, the Department and the FRBNY took enforcement action against the Bank in the form of a Written Agreement in which the Bank acknowledged its oversight and compliance deficiencies and agreed to remediate them.

“As reflected in the examinations following the Written Agreement, however, the Branch’s overall condition and its risk management and compliance programs continued to deteriorate. These continued failures revealed that the Branch’s senior management were unwilling or unable to promote a culture of compliance, adequate resources were not provided for compliance programs, and the Bank failed to adequately supervise the Branch by allowing problems to worsen year after year. The conditions at the Branch demonstrated severe weaknesses, and unsafe, unsound conditions requiring urgent restructuring.”

Under the settlement reached today, it said, in addition to payment of a $35 million penalty, the National Bank of Pakistan will be required to create a written plan, acceptable to the Department, detailing enhancements to the policies and procedures of the Bank’s BSA/AML compliance program, its Suspicious Activity Monitoring and Reporting program, and its customer due diligence requirements.

“Additionally, at the Department’s discretion, the Bank may be required to engage an independent consultant to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the Bank and the Branch’s remediation efforts — an evaluation that could lead to the imposition of a full monitorship.”

“DFS acknowledges the Bank’s cooperation with the investigation and its ongoing remedial efforts.

“The Department coordinated this investigation with the FRBNY which has reached a separate settlement with the Bank.”

Read the DFS statement here.

The fines are a fresh blow for the nation, that has been on the monitoring list of Paris-based Financial Action Task Force since 2018 for similar deficiencies. Habib Bank Ltd. and United Bank Ltd. have also faced similar issues in the U.S. for its branch operations in New York.   Both banks subsequently closed their branches.

NBP’s shares fell 7.4% as of 9:28 a.m. in Karachi Friday, the most in a year.


British-Pakistani ‘hitman’ found guilty of plotting to kill Pakistani activist in exile. Hit ordered from Pakistan, court told.


A British-Pakistani “hitman” has been found guilty of conspiring to kill a Pakistani dissident in the Netherlands.

A court in London heard Muhammad Gohir Khan was offered £100,000 (about $134,000) to carry out the murder in Rotterdam last year.

However he failed to track his target down, and was arrested on his return to the UK.

Now a jury has given a unanimous guilty verdict of conspiracy to murder and he is set be sentenced in March.

The intended victim – Waqass Goraya – is a prominent social media activist and critic of the Pakistani military and government, living in Rotterdam in the Netherlands.

The guilty, Gohir Khan, from east London, had racked up debts of more than £200,000 whilst running a cargo company. He was working as a delivery driver for a supermarket, but reacted enthusiastically when he was contacted about a “job” in Europe by a contact in Pakistan.

Khan claimed in court that he initially did not know what the job entailed, but he used fishing analogies in a WhatsApp conversation with a middleman man named as Muzzamil who was to take 20% of the fee.

The Pakistan-based “client” who had ordered the hit was never named in court, though Muzzamil referred to a “big boss” who gave a green light to the operation and who he had worked with for around 20 years.

Muzzamil’s full identity has not been disclosed either, though he appears to be a British national living in Pakistan. Police officials simply said the case remains an “active investigation”.

The threat to Pakistani dissidents extends to other dissidents in exile.

Ayesha Siddiqa is an academic who has written extensively about the Pakistani military. In January 2019 she received a visit and letter from police in Britain warning of “credible information” that her life was in danger if she travelled back to Pakistan.

Three other Pakistanis living in the UK confirmed to the BBC they had contact with the police over the possibility of them being targeted in Britain.

One of them, Fazal Khan, is a lawyer whose 14 year-old son Sahibzada Umer Khan was amongst the victims of a massacre at a school in the northern Pakistani city of Peshawar by militants in 2014.

Others elsewhere in Europe have also been warned by Western intelligence agencies, including Taha Siddiqui, a journalist who escaped an abduction attempt in Islamabad and now lives in France.


Pakistani money-laundering ring involved in washing millions of Euros busted in Paris.


Police in the French capital city of Paris dismantled a major Pakistani money-laundering ring with a net worth of 70 millions Euros of transactions in the last two to three years, and arrested 10 Pakistanis involved in the criminal activity.

In a statement released by the Head of the Central Office for the Suppression of Serious Financial Crime (OCRGDF), Anne-Sophie Coulbois said that several people, all from Pakistan had been arrested, indicted and imprisoned last Friday. The ring was mostly living in Seine-Saint-Denis, a neighborhood in the Parisian suburbs, known for its violence and crime, according to Sud-Ouest, a local French daily.

Police started to investigate the ring in June 2020 after it found suspicious packages carrying fake European paperwork arriving in France, from Pakistan by way of Turkey and Greece. The fake documents included official documents of countries in the Schengen area and in particular for France, including passports, identity cards and residence permits.

During the probe, the French authorities also unearthed 20 legal companies connected to the arrested Pakistanis, and involved in the construction business which were linked to a large network of “shell” companies. These companies were used to redirect funds to nearly 200 bank accounts, opened with various false documents.

This network transferred money to the various accounts using fake invoices or documents and then got the money out of the legal circuit by withdrawing large amounts from these bank accounts through ATMs. Part of the money withdrawn was used to pay illegal Pakistanis working in these construction sites and the remaining diverted to Pakistan.

Searches at the houses and offices of these 10 individuals in Paris led to the recovery of 157 fake identity documents, Euros 134,000 in cash, four vehicles including a Maserati, documents related to 180 bank accounts and the false papers used to open these accounts.

As per the police, between 2019 and 2021, at least Euro 28 million were transferred to the bank accounts of different people and another Euro 13 million were transferred to the accounts in the names of front companies, according to media reports.

This development comes at a time when Pakistan is up for a review at the FATF next month. The country has remained on a grey-list for the last couple of years for not doing enough against terror-financing and money-laundering, according to the international monetary watchdog.

But this is not the only case that has surfaced in recent months that points to Pakistan still being a hub of money-laundering and terror-finacing with global networks.

In another court case currently on-going in London, U.K., the British police arrested a Pakistani-British man for plotting to kill a Pakistani dissident in exile, after being promised 100,000 Euros for the hit by a contact back home in Pakistan. Investigators revealed that the hitman was paid around 5000 Euros through a Pakistani bank account and hundi networks in the country, once again exposing how Pakistan continues to have money-laundering channels open, even for transnational crimes like murdering someone on European soil.

Lashkar-e-Taiba linked humanitarian group resurfaces in Murree for rescue efforts


In what appears to be a repeat of the same old, a Lashkar-e-Taiba linked humanitarian organization with the name of Tehreek Allah-u-Akbar was seen at the forefront of rescue efforts in the calamity hit area of Murree city. The hill station experienced heavy snow fall that resulted in 22 people, including women and children, freezing to death in their vehicles, after being stranded and stuck on the roads, for several hours, without help.

Very little is known of this obscure group called Tehreek Allah-u-Akbar that came to the aid of those affected by this tragedy, except that it is headed by Saifullah Khalid, a close confidante of Hafiz Saeed, the head of Lashkar-e-Taiba (convicted in 2020 for terror-financing and sentenced, but continues to spend time at home, which has been converted into a sub-jail, according to media reports). Saifullah was also part of the political party backed by the terror group called Milli Muslim League.

Saifullah shared a video on social media being thanked by the people of Murree for rescue efforts that led to an investigation by South Asia Press and it was found that dozens of recruits who are allegedly affiliated with LeT were dispatched to provide humanitarian aid to those affected by the calamity. According to media reports, thousands of people were stranded in the area for several hours before help arrived. Social media platforms are flooded with photos and videos of the rescue efforts by the banned militant group, with several posts thanking Hafiz Saeed for coming to the aid of the people. But what comes as a bigger shock is that a senior Pakistani police official is seen thanking Jamat ud Dawa (one of the many names of LeT) in a video obtained by South Asia Press. 

Yaseen Janjua, who is currently posted in the region, thanked the banned militant group, calling it by the name of Jamat ud Dawa, confirming that it was involved in the rescue efforts as much as other government departments.

See video here:

Another video obtained by South Asia Press shows several people sitting in a vehicle thanking Hafiz Saeed for helping them, with a man saying some social activists (affiliated with Hafiz Saeed) came and provided them with food.

But these militants-disguised-as-humanitarian-workers were not just helping the ordinary citiens who were stuck, as seen in another video obtained by South Asia Press, in which they can be seen handing out food packets to not only the public but policemen and even military officials.

See video here:

Interestingly, they can be seen wearing the same colored jackets that they have used in the past but it appears that they have tried to hide their previous affiliation by putting the name of Tehreek Allah-u-Akbar, hand-written over the old names, but the cover up seems obvious as seen in the photos below:

For last few years, the Pakistani government has claimed that it had clamped down on the activities of Lashkar-e-Taiba (recently known as Jamat ud Dawa and then Falah e Insaniyat Foundation). But the terror organization – known for its involvement in the Mumbai attacks of 2008 which killed at least 175 people – apparently went underground to ease international pressure on Pakistan, and has once again resurfaced with a new name Tehreek Allah u Akbar, but with the same old tactics. And it appears that such militants are still able to raise funds for their activities, as the rescue efforts in Murree show that the group has ample of resources available at its disposal.

LeT and other such Kashmiri jihadi groups have been softening their image using charity as a front, especially since the 2005 devastating earthquake in Pakistan and Pakistan-administered Kashmir, when such groups provided rescue, food, and shelter to thousands of Pakistanis affected by the natural calamity. But LeT does not do such acts for altruistic reasons alone. Rather it uses such opportunities to find recruits that it can dedicate to its terror activities in the region, especially to foment unrest in Indian-administered Kashmir and previously in Afghanistan also. Investigations on ground have proven that LeT finds vulnerable Pakistani families who are in need of aid, and by providing them help, it asks for youngsters in such families to be sent to serve the terror organization.

With the Murree tragedy, the group is active again and is using this incident to gain sympathy and subsequently recruits, which puts a serious question over Pakistani government’s claims that it is containing such terror groups.

With Pakistan’s review at the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in Paris coming up next month, will the international monetary watchdog take some concrete action against Pakistan for continuing to allow such terror groups to openly organize and fund their activities? It is time that FATF must go beyond lip-service and make Pakistan accountable for its continued support to terror.

EXCLUSIVE: Is Pakistan using Turkish and Chinese drones in Kashmir conflict?


By Taha Siddiqui

Between the night of Saturday 2nd of October and Sunday 3rd October, in the southern part of the Kashmir valley nearby the village of Almore Mandal in Jammu district, the Indian police discovered a yellow polythene bag with a package containing weapons. Witnesses in the area said a drone had dropped the package, and the police suspect it came from the Pakistani border. But reports from the area unveil that this is not the first such case.

Since beginning of this year, local police have reportedly seized a large number of weapons and ammunition brought in by drones allegedly from Pakistan. 


Drone warfare against India from Pakistani soil was aimed for surviellance at first, Indian authorities say. But recently the interventions from across the Line of Control (LoC) (the cease-fire border between the two sides) have become bolder, with drones not only dropping packages but also carrying out attacks.

In late June two members of the Indian Air Force were injured when two bombs dropped by drones exploded at the military airport in Jammu region. This was the first such drone attack in this part of Kashmir region, which has been hit by numerous terrorist attacks in the last several decades.

According to South Asia Press research, in January 2021, the Jammu & Kashmir Police caught two persons while they were picking up a consignment of 16 grenades, two AK-74 rifles, nine AK magazines, a pistol and ammunitions, which were smuggled via drones, as per investigations.

In another case, the Punjab Police seized 11 grenades that were allegedly air-dropped from Pakistan in December 2020.

In October 2020, the Indian Army reportedly shot down a drone along the Line of Control.

A case of dropping arms was also reported when the Indian Border Security Force shot down a UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) near Rathua village in the Hira Nagar sector of Jammu on June 20 last year. The drone was transporting an American-made M4 rifle, several grenades and ammunitions.

In yet another case, in the intervening night of June 3 and 4, 2020, a consignment of weapons was dropped through three drone sorties outside Dharamkot Randhawa in Punjab’s Gurdaspur. The consignment included two MP-9 guns, six pistols and counterfeit currency.

Owing to such cross border activity, the Indian Kashmir police chief recently acknowledged that despite the ceasefire agreement since February this year between Pakistan and India along the Line of Control and the International Border, some “Pakistani state actors” have been helping Pakistan-based terror groups operating in Jammu and Kashmir, by trying to maintain their supply chain of arms, ammunition and cash.


Pakistan had several requests for drone technology reportedly rejected by the United States, and went on to manufacture its own drones, with the help of Chinese and Turkish technology. Just this August, Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) signed a contract with Pakistan’s National Engineering and Science Commission (NESCOM) to jointly produce Anka military drones. Also, China has become a major exporter of armed drones, with Pakistan being one of its 11 customers, with negotiations between the two countries starting in 2011.

It appears that Pakistan has started using this foreign drone technology as an alternative to sending militant proxies into the other side as it was facing immense pressure to crackdown on Kashmiri militant groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad at home. These groups regulalry infiltrated the border in the past, especially during cross-fire between the two sides, which Pakistani military sources say was a way to distract attention of the Indian side from finding out about such infilitrations. However, in recent years, such infiltrations have become harder due to improved border management from the Indian side. Also, given the international negative attention such groups were bringing to Pakistan, there were some cosmetic and performative judicial actions against these groups, thereby limiting their cross-border movements but they remain fairly operational domestically. And hence, Pakistan has opted now for deploying drones as a tactic to continue this conflict.


Since the last few months, a new wave of violence and targeted killings has been observed in Indian Kashmir. This year 196 terror incidents took place till mid November, with October being one of the deadliest months in 2021.

On October 5, unidentified gunmen killed three civilians, then on October 7, militants shot dead two Hindu teachers in a school in Srinagar, and on October 11, five Indian soldiers were killed near the Line of Control.

From January 1st this year, about 200 people – mostly Indian security personnel and separatist militants – have died in the violences in Kashmir. Some 30 civilians, have been shot dead.

In response to the new warfare in Kashmir using drones, the Indian government is reportedly further upping its defences also by installing drone detection and countermeasures, such as radars, RF sensors, GPS spoofing and D4 systems.

Experts say that in due course, such drone warfare will become a constant irritant and a source of low-intensity attacks that India will have to face. The drone attacks on the Jammu air base strongly suggest that, even though Pakistan may have reined in its proxy forces, a new front may be opening up in the conflict over Kashmir, as Foreign Policy recently reported.