A couple of weeks back, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority directed banks, exchanges and insurance companies to keep a strict watch on United Nations-listed terror funding entities that might use banking operations or securities markets to fund terrorist activities.
The RBI has followed this up by releasing over 700 names in an updated list of such terrorists and terror-related organisations compiled by the United Nations Security Council Committee (UNSCC).
Interestingly, only in 2007, when MK Narayanan, then national security advisor, spoke about terrorist outfits manipulating stock markets to raise funds for their activities, the government was in denial. Not anymore. Today, especially after the 26/11 episode in Mumbai and the discovery of the frequent Indian trips made by suspected terror activist David Coleman Headley, the government is clearly on high alert.
The UNSCC list is broadly broken up into three major terror groups—the Al-Qaida, the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammad. It has 142 individuals associated with the Taliban, 255 individuals connected with the Al-Qaida as well as 107 groups and organisations related with the Al-Qaida.
The major terrorists who have been identified include Osama bin Laden and Ayman Muhammad Rabaie al-Zawahiri—known as the godfather of the Al-Qaida—besides LeT’s Hafiz Muhammad and Muhammad Ashraf. India's terror fugitive and underworld don, Dawood Ibrahim, also figures on the list with details about his whereabouts with two specific addresses both in Karachi, Pakistan. One is ‘White House, Near Saudi Mosque, Clifton’ and another is ‘House Number 37, 30th Street, Defence Housing Authority, Karachi’. While the world knows that the don resides in Karachi, the Pakistani government officially denies any knowledge of his existence.
The UN report says that Dawood uses about 13 good quality aliases or pseudonyms like, Dawood Ebrahim, Sheikh Dawood Hassan, Abdul Hamid Abdul Aziz, Anis Ibrahim, Aziz Dilip, Daud Hasan Shaikh Ibrahim Kaskar, Daud Ibrahim Memon Kaskar, Dawood Hasan Ibrahim Kaskar, Dawood Ibrahim Memon, Dawood Sabri, Kaskar Dawood Hasan, Shaikh Mohd Ismail Abdul Rehman and Dowood Hassan Shaikh Ibrahim. Dawood also has three other aliases—Ibrahim Shaikh Mohd Anis, Shaikh Ismail Abdul and Hizrat, which he uses very rarely. Dawood's birth date is listed as 26 December 1955.
On the other hand, Osama bin Laden, the most wanted terrorist in the world, uses nine pseudonyms such as Usama Bin Laden, Usama Bin Muhammed Bin Awad, Osama Bin Laden, Ben Laden Osama, Ben Laden Ossama, Ben Laden Usama, Bin Laden Osama Mohamed Awdh, Bin Laden Usamah Bin Muhammad, Shaykh Usama Bin Ladin and Usamah Bin Muhammad Bin Ladin. The list mentions five different dates of birth for Laden; however, there is no information like passport number, national identification number or address available for the top terrorist.
Under section 51A of The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (UAPA) the Central government has allowed banks to freeze, seize or attach funds and other financial assets or economic resources held by individuals on this list.
Earlier, market regulator SEBI informed stock exchanges and other securities mediators to keep a tab on their new and existing clients, and inform the home ministry within 24 hours if they find any client, whose particulars match with those of the UN-listed entries.
The RBI has advised banks that "full details of accounts bearing resemblance with any of the individuals or entities in the list" should immediately be intimated to it and to theFinancial Intelligence Unit-India. SEBI too has asked stock exchanges and other securities intermediaries to keep a tab on new and existing clients, and inform the home ministry within 24 hours if they find any client whose particulars match with those of the UN-listed entries.