The United States of America has designated Kashmiri militant outfit, Hizbul Mujahideen, as a foreign terrorist organisation, nearly two months after declaring the outfit's Pakistan-based chief Syed Salahuddin a global terrorist.
The designation, which slaps a series of American sanctions on the militant group, came against the backdrop of upsurge in its terror activities in Kashmir in recent months.
A statement from the Department of State said the outfit, also known as Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, was sanctioned under section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, and as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) under section 1(b) of Executive Order (E.O.) 13224.
"Today's action notifies the US public and the international community that HM is a terrorist organization. Terrorism designations expose and isolate organizations and individuals, and deny them access to the US financial system. Moreover, designations can assist the law enforcement activities of US agencies and other governments," the statement noted.
Among other consequences, all of Hizbul Mujahideen's property and interests in property subject to US jurisdiction are blocked, and US persons are generally prohibited from engaging in any transactions with the group.
Formed in 1989, HM is one of the largest and oldest militant groups operating in Kashmir. Hizbul Mujahideen has claimed responsibility for several attacks, including the April 2014 explosives attack in Jammu and Kashmir, which injured 17 people, the statement said.
The other groups on America's FTO list are Jaish-e-Mohammad, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Indian Mujahideen, and al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent.
Salahuddin, in a recent interview to Pakistani Geo TV had said he "can strike anytime, anywhere in India," exposing the security risk his outfit poses to the country.