US declares Afghan ‘governor’ a terrorist
By Rizwan Khatik - Wed Aug 17, 5:48 am
WASHINGTON: The Obama administration designated a key insurgent commander in southeastern Afghanistan as a terrorist Tuesday, freezing any assets he has in the United States and barring Americans from doing business with him.
The State Department said Mullah Sangeen Zadran is the shadow governor of Paktika province in southeastern Afghanistan and a commander in the Haqqani network.
A statement said Sangeen leads fighters in attacks and has helped hundreds of foreign fighters enter Afghanistan. It also linked him to bombings and kidnappings of Afghans and foreigners in the border region between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Sangeen was also designated a terrorist by the UN, meaning he should be subject to a global travel ban, asset freeze and arms embargo. The Haqqani network has ties to both al-Qaida and the Taliban and has emerged as one of the biggest threats to stability in Afghanistan.
”These actions will help stem the flow of financial and other assistance to this dangerous individual,” the State Department said.
Sangeen appears to be the same individual whom US-led forces claimed to have killed in an operation in 2007. The coalition said at the time that Sangeen was second-in-command to Siraj Haqqani and that he was responsible for roadside bombings and other attacks.
The Treasury Department designated four other individuals Tuesday as terrorists subject to US sanctions.
They include Umar Patek, a key suspect in the 2002 Bali bombings that killed 202 people. Patek was captured six months ago in the same northwestern Pakistani town where Osama bin Laden was killed, and was escorted home to Indonesia last week under tight security to stand trial.
Patek, 41, an al-Qaida-linked Indonesian militant, had a $1 million bounty on his head when authorities caught up with him in Abbottabad _ just a few miles (kilometers) from where US commandos killed al-Qaida chief bin Laden in a raid four months later.
The other individuals designated are Muhammad Jibril Abdul Rahman and Abdul Rahim Ba-asyir of Indonesia, and Mumtaz Dughmush, a Palestinian.