Britain bans IM for causing series of blasts in India

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  1. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

    Mar 24, 2009
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    LONDON: The British government on Thursday banned Indian Mujahideen (IM), citing its involvement in a string of bombings across India since 2007 and the threats the Lashkar-e-Taiba affiliate poses to its nationals. The IM's proscription would make it a terrorist offence to be its member under the UK's Terrorism Act 2000.

    The group became the 47th such organization to be banned in the UK. India had outlawed the IM in June 2010 with the US and New Zealand shortly following suit.

    "Making membership of, and support for, the organization (IM) (will be) a criminal offence," said British home secretary Theresa May.

    She said the IM is a terrorist organization that has carried out a number of indiscriminate mass casualty attacks. "It uses violence to achieve its stated objectives of establishing an Islamic state in India and implementing Sharia law."

    May said proscribing the group sends a clear message that the UK condemns its activities and demonstrates its commitment to counter-terrorism to its international partners. Earlier, British parliamentarians unanimously voted to ban the group on Wednesday.

    "(The IM) has frequently perpetrated attacks against civilian targets... with the intention of maximizing casualties,'' home office minister James Brokenshire told the House of Commons on Wednesday. He cited the group's involvement in May 2008 Jaipur serial blasts that killed 63 people and that in an explosion outside the Delhi high court in September last year. Brokenshire said the group had threatened British tourists in India.

    "We believe that there is ample evidence that IM is concerned in terrorism and I believe it is right that we add the organization to the list of proscribed organizations." Brokenshire said the decision was taken after thoroughly reviewing all the available information and evidence about the group.

    Indian-origin MP Keith Vaz welcomed the move. "The international community should join together in criminalizing this organization, which has killed innocent civilians and uses violence indiscriminately.''

    Shadow home office minister Diana Johnson echoed Vaz, saying the IM was behind "some of the most appalling acts of terrorism in recent years". British authorities believe the IM was involved in the 26/11 attacks.

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