ISLAMABAD (AP) – A Pakistani man named by the United Nations (UN) as a global terrorist in connection to the Mumbai attacks released a video on Thursday, denying any Al-Qaeda or Islamic State (IS) group links. He did not, however, make any mention of the 2008 terrorist attacks in India that killed 166 people.
The UN on Tuesday designated Abdul Rehman Makki, 68, a militant being held in Pakistan, as a terrorist, the world body’s second such designation in connection to the Mumbai attacks. He is a senior figure in the outlawed Lashkar-e-Taiba group, which is mainly active in the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir. He was arrested in 2019 and convicted a year later on charges of terror financing, a sentence unrelated to the 2008 terrorist attacks.
On Thursday, Makki released a video statement saying the UN took action against him without hearing his testimony. He insisted he never met Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden, who was killed in a United States (US) Navy SEALs raid in 2011 in his hiding place in Pakistan’s northwestern city of Abbottabad, or bin Laden’s successor, Ayman al-Zawahri, killed in a US drone strike in Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul, last July.
Makki also said the UN Security Council violated his rights in blacklisting him without listening to his side of the story. He also claimed he never took part in “any terrorist activity” in his life.
The UN Security Council committee overseeing sanctions against al-Qaeda and IS extremists and their associates put Makki on the sanctions blacklist after approval by the council’s 15 members.