France lauded by FATF for sanctioning JeM chief Maulana Masood Azhar

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An anti-terror financing watchdog has praised France’s decision to sanction Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorist Masood Azhar.

Following the 2019 Pulwama attacks, French intelligence proposed a list of terrorists that shaped “international sanctions policy”, as per the organisation.

Azhar commands the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), the organisation responsible for Pulwama attacks. A total of 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel were killed in the gruesome attacks.

In the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) recently released Mutual Evaluation Report, the intergovernmental body has said “France adopted a national freezing measure on 15 March (2019) against Mohamed Masood Azhar Alvi, the founder and leader of that organisation" and the Paris "subsequently proposed a draft European listing, while supporting a United Nations 1267 listing, which was obtained on 1st May 2019."

Through its sanctions, France eventually played an active role in international sanctions policy and designations on the UN list.

The process of French national listing involves targets being identified by intelligence agencies of the country. They then send their collective list to the coordination unit of fight against terrorism or CLAT. This process ensures that there are no objections to the proposal by an intelligence agency or judicial body. Notably, a unit of the French Ministry of the economy (Tracfin) adds its sanctions including giving details on the possible existence of assets in France.

Pulwama key conspirator killed

The key conspirator and Jaish-e-Mohammad Chief Abu Saifullah aka 'Lamboo', was killed by the security officials in an encounter last year. Lamboo was not only affiliated with the terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), but was also a close associate of the founder of the terror outfit, Masood Azhar. The slain terrorist was under the radar of Indian security officials for a long time, especially after his involvement in the 2019 Pulwama attack was recognised.

He was one of the rare terrorists who was till now operating in South Kashmir and that is why he was majorly under the radar of Kashmir Security Officials as most of such terrorists were caught. After escaping over seven encounters, Lamboo finally ran out of his luck which resulted in major success for the Indian Army and police. Originally from the Punjab province of Pakistan, Saifullah was an expert in encrypting messages that also ensured his protection and made it easy to communicate to top terrorists from Pakistan.