Washington: In a big move, the US has backed India's decision to declare four notorious criminals, including Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar, Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) founder Hafiz Saeed, as terrorists individually under a new anti-terror law, expanding possibilities of cooperation between the two countries to combat the curse of terrorism.

On Wednesday (September 3), India declared Mumbai terror attack accused Zaki-ur-Rehman-Lakhvi, fugitive gangster Dawood Ibrahim, JeM chief Masood Azhar and LeT founder Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, as individual terrorists by the government under a new anti-terror law.

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Taking to Twitter, the acting assistant secretary for South and Central Asia, Alice G Wells said, "We stand India & commend it for utilising new legal authorities to designate 4 notorious terrorists: Maulana Masood Azhar, Hafiz Saeed, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi & Dawood Ibrahim. This new law expands possibilities for joint #USIndia efforts to combat the scourge of terrorism."

The Indian Parliament took nearly a month to declare all four of them as a terrorist in the crucial amendment to the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment (UAPA) Act, 1967.

The four are the first to be declared terrorists under the new anti-law, an official at the Ministry of Home Affairs said in New Delhi.

According to the UAPA, earlier, only a group could be declared as a terrorist organisation. The amendments made in the Act allows the government to claim even an individual as a terrorist.

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These four are involved in terrorist attacks in India and have been designated as global terrorists under the United Nations.

Under the new bill, the government can impose a travel ban on individuals who have been designated as "terrorists" and seize their properties. The law conforms with United Nations conventions as well as international standards, the government said.

In May, the United Nations designated Azhar as a "global terrorist" after China lifted its hold on a proposal to blacklist him.