Designations Include First Sanctions Against a Madrassa Used to Train Taliban Fighters
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of the Treasury today designated Umar Siddique Kathio Azmarai (Azmarai), a senior Al-Qa’ida official, and Jamia Taleem-Ul-Quran-Wal-Hadith Madrassa, also known as the Ganj Madrassa, a school in Peshawar that serves as a training center and facilitates funding for al-Qa’ida, Lashkar-e Tayyiba, and the Taliban. The activities of the Ganj Madrassa exemplify how terrorist groups, such as al-Qa’ida, Lashkar-e Tayyiba, and the Taliban, subvert seemingly legitimate institutions, such as religious schools, to divert charitable donations meant for education to support violent acts. Today’s action is the first designation of a madrassa that is being abused by terrorist organizations. This action does not generally target madrassas, which often play an essential role in improving literacy and providing humanitarian and developmental aid in many areas of the world, including Pakistan.
“Today’s action strikes at the heart of the financial and logistical support network that abuses charitable donations and provides essential services for various terrorist groups including al-Qa’ida, Lashkar-e Tayyiba, and the Taliban. These networks provide the fighters, training, and supplies for these terrorist groups to carry out their acts of violence against coalition forces and civilians alike,” said Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David S. Cohen. “We will continue to work with our partners around the world to dismantle these terrorist networks, especially those that try to conceal their sinister activities behind critical community organizations like madrassas.”
During his long tenure with al-Qa’ida, Azmarai has held a number of important positions. He is al-Qa’ida’s leader in Sindh and Balochistan provinces, Pakistan, and has been a significant financial facilitator for the group, moving hundreds of thousands of dollars in support of its leadership and operations. Azmarai has also acted as a courier for al-Qa’ida officials and has managed logistics for family members of senior al-Qa’ida leadership, including Usama bin Laden.
Treasury today also designated the Ganj Madrassa in Peshawar, Pakistan, which is controlled by designated al-Qa’ida facilitator Fazeel-A-Tul Shaykh Abu Mohammed Ameen Al-Peshawari, also known as Shaykh Aminullah. Shaykh Aminullah was designated by both the United States and United Nations (UN) in 2009 for providing material support to al-Qa’ida and the Taliban.
The Ganj Madrassa serves as a terrorist training center where students, under the guise of religious studies, have been radicalized to conduct terrorist and insurgent activities. In some cases, students were trained to become bomb manufacturers and suicide bombers. Shaykh Aminullah has directed donations provided for the school to terrorist groups such as the Taliban, which use the money to fund the ongoing violence in Afghanistan.
The Ganj Madrassa was designated today pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, which targets terrorist and their supporters, for being controlled by Shaykh Aminullah and for providing financial and material support to Lashkar-e Tayyiba and the Taliban. Azmarai was designated pursuant to E.O. 13224 for acting on behalf of al-Qa’ida.
As a result of today’s designation, any assets these entities may have under U.S. jurisdiction are frozen, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from doing business with them.
Umar Siddique Kathio Azmarai
In addition to his financial activities on behalf of al-Qa’ida, Azmarai has been active in multiple other facilitation duties for al-Qa’ida. As of early 2012, Azmarai facilitated the procurement of secure areas in Pakistan for al-Qa’ida to house militants and store vehicles. Azmarai has frequently acted as a courier within Pakistan for al-Qa’ida leaders and other al-Qa’ida facilitators. As of early 2003, Azmarai was a courier between al-Qa’ida cells in Pakistan and the Persian Gulf and, as of late 2002, was a courier for senior al-Qa’ida operational planner Khalid Shaykh Muhammad.
Azmarai's facilitation duties on behalf of al-Qa’ida have also included providing logistical support to al-Qa’ida members and their families. As of 2011, Azmarai assisted al-Qa’ida's administrative manager with managing the care of important al-Qa’ida members' families, including facilitating their finances, housing, and medical care. In 1999, Azmarai assisted in making logistical arrangements for al-Qa’ida members and their families in Karachi, Pakistan. Azmarai was also specifically responsible for providing support to members of now-deceased al-Qa’ida leader Usama bin Laden's family. Bin Laden's son-in-law selected Azmarai in late 1999 to look after bin Laden's family and, in mid-2000, Azmarai began working directly for bin Laden's family, facilitating their travel, lodging, and medical needs. From late 2001 through early 2002, Azmarai was responsible for bin Laden's family members in Karachi. In mid-2002, Azmarai worked for bin Laden's son, now-deceased Saad bin Laden.
Under Shaykh Aminullah’s leadership, the Ganj Madrassa has trained and harbored Taliban fighters who have subsequently been dispatched to Afghanistan. As recently as early 2013, Shaykh Aminullah was recruiting for Lashkar-e Tayyiba at the Ganj Madrassa and, as of late 2012, was hosting al-Qa’ida operatives there.
Shaykh Aminullah has provided assistance, including funding and recruits, to al-Qaida. In addition, he directs donations received by the Ganj Madrassa to jihadist fighters battling coalition forces in Afghanistan and also uses the money to train madrassa students to become Taliban fighters. Shaykh Aminullah frequently travels to the Gulf to obtain charity donations on the madrassa’s behalf.
Name: Umar Siddique Kathio Azmarai
AKA: Muhammad Umar Sidduque Katio
AKA: Umar Kathio Chandio
AKA: Omar Chandyo
AKA: Umar Chanduo
AKA: Muhammad Umar Kathio
AKA: Abdallah al-Sindhi
AKA: ‘Abdallah Sindi
AKA: Abdullah al-Sindhi
AKA: Abdullah al-Sindi
AKA: Muhammad Omer
AKA: Muhammad Umar
POB: Saudi Arabia
National ID card number: 466-77-221879, Pakistan
Alias ID card number: 42201-015024707-7
Address: Karachi, Pakistan
Address: Miram Shah, North Waziristan Agency, Federally Administered Tribal Areas, Pakistan
Entity: Jamia Taleem-Ul-Quran-Wal-Hadith Madrassa
AKA: Ganj Madrassa
AKA: Jamia Madrassa Dur Ul Koran Wasuna
AKA: Madrasa Taleemul Quran Wal Hadith
AKA: Madrasa Taleemul Quran Wal Sunnah
AKA: Talalim Quran Madrassa
AKA: Taleem Ul-Quran Madrassa
AKA: Mawiya Madrassa
AKA: Tasin Al-Quran Abu Hamza
AKA: Mow-Ya Madrassa
AKA: Ganjoo Madrassa
Address: Gunj Gate, Phandu Road, Peshawar, Pakistan
Address: Near the Baron Gate, Ganj area of Peshawar, Pakistan
Address: Lahori and Yaka Tote Rd. at the intersection near the Ganj Gate