London targets Pakistani Taliban

Jan. 18, 2011 at 10:50 AM
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LONDON, Jan. 18 (UPI) -- The British government banned the Pakistani Taliban by declaring its activity a criminal offense, the British home secretary said Tuesday.

British Home Secretary Theresa May told lawmakers Tuesday that membership in the Pakistani Taliban would be considered a criminal offense in her country.

"I have laid an order which will proscribe Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan," she was quoted by London's Guardian newspaper as saying. "Proscription is a tough but necessary power to tackle terrorism and is not a course of action we take lightly."

The move would ban the group for raising funds or operating in the United Kingdom, the Guardian adds.

Washington in September designated the Pakistani Taliban as a foreign terrorist organization for its close ties to al-Qaida.

Washington accuses the Pakistani Taliban of a number attacks targeting U.S. interests. The group is also blamed for playing a role in the 2007 assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

Daniel Benjamin, the coordinator for counter-terrorism at the U.S. State Department, said at the time that the Pakistani Taliban is "very much" part of the broad terrorist threat confronting the United States.

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