GCC to freeze accounts of those suspected of funding terrorists
Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states said Saturday October 13 that they will cooperate with the United States and the United Nations in freezing accounts of individuals and groups suspected of funding terrorists.
"There is a resolution by the UN Security Council on this issue. The GCC alliance is part of international legality and the resolution is being implemented," Bahrain's Finance Minister Abdullah Hassan Saif told reporters.
"The lists (of those suspected of funding terrorists released by the US) have been sent to the GCC member states for each state to deal with in accordance with its laws," Saif said after a joint meeting between the GCC finance ministers and governors of central banks.
But the minister said that so far, no accounts have been frozen in Bahrain. Bahrain's government had on September 30 ordered the freezing of accounts of individuals and groups suspected of financing terrorist activities.
Three days earlier, the United Arab Emirates' central bank had ordered the freezing of accounts and investments of 26 individuals and organizations suspected of financing terrorist activities. The GCC groups Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Kuwait's Finance Minister Yussef Al-Ibrahim said the ministers agreed to take necessary measures to protect GCC financial institutions.
"Our financial institutions adopt a transparent financial system and are under strict government controls," he said. Charities run by Islamists and a number of financial institutions in the Gulf Arab states have been accused of financing terrorists. The organizations categorically denied the charge.
The GCC move followed a freeze ordered by the United States on Friday on the assets of an additional 39 suspected terrorists and their supporters. US President George W. Bush last month released an initial list of 27 individuals and organizations whose funds must be blocked, also warning overseas banks to follow suit.
The drive to choke off financing for terrorists is part of a global effort launched by Washington following the September 11 jetliner suicide bombings in the United States that left thousands dead. The United States identified Afghanistan-based Saudi dissident Osama Bin Laden as the chief suspect in the attacks and launched a bombing blitz on Afghanistan on October 7 after Kabul's Taliban regime refused to hand him over. — (AFP, Riyadh)
Agence France Presse 2001©
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)
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