The US State Department has blocked the financial assets of the Iraqi Ansar Al-Islam group after designating the entity as a 'Foreign Terrorist Organization'. The move makes it illegal for Americans to provide material support for the group, and bars its members from obtaining US visas.
According to State Department Spokesman Richard Boucher, Osama Bin Laden's Al-Qaeda group participated in the formation and funding of Ansar Al-Islam. In return, the Iraqi group provided Al-Qaida with a safe haven in northern Iraq.
"The group has been one of the leading groups engaged in anti-Coalition terrorist attacks in Iraq," said the statement.
Nearly $200 million in terrorist-related assets have been seized or frozen since September 2001, according to the US Treasury Department. Pipelines of financing that once funneled millions of dollars to activists have been dismantled and 315 individuals and organizations have been designated as 'terrorists' or as part of 'terrorist support networks'. — (menareport.com)
© 2004 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )