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Pakistan quietly removes 1800 jihadis from its terror watch list

Counterterrorism

Pakistan quietly removes 1800 jihadis from its terror watch list

Robert Spencer

“Pakistan removes thousands of names from terrorist watch list: Report,” PTI, April 21, 2020:

NEW YORK: Pakistan has quietly removed around 1,800 terrorists from its watch list, including that of the 2008 Mumbai attack mastermind and LeT operations commander Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, ahead of a new round of assessments by the global anti-money-laundering watchdog FATF, according to a US-based start-up that automates watchlist compliance. The so-called proscribed persons list, which is maintained by Pakistan’s National Counter Terrorism Authority or NACTA, is intended in part to help financial institutions avoid doing business with or processing transactions of suspected terrorists.

The list in 2018 contained about 7,600 names. It has been reduced to under 3,800 in the past 18 months, according to Castellum.AI, a New York-based regulatory technology company.

About 1,800 of the names have been removed since the beginning of March, according to data collected by Castellum.

Pakistan is working to implement an action plan that has been mutually agreed to with the Paris-based The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), part of which involves “demonstrating effective implementation of targeted financial sanctions.”

It is possible that these removals are part of Pakistan’s action plan to implement the FATF recommendations, it said.

While Pakistan received a rating of “low” effectiveness from the FATF regarding terrorist financing preventive measures and financial sanctions, the FATF did note in February that Pakistan has largely addressed 14 of 27 action items, with varying levels of progress made on the rest of the action, it said.

The FATF will again evaluate Pakistan’s progress in June 2020.

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