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 Treasury Designates Six Al-Qaida Terrorists


9/24/2003
   

FROM THE OFFICE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS

JS-757

� The U.S. Treasury today announced that it has designated six individuals as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs) under Executive Order 13224, freezing any assets in the U.S. and prohibiting transactions with U.S. nationals. Today�s action comes in coordination with the listing of these individuals by the United Nations.   The UN action requires all UN Member States to freeze without delay any assets belonging to these individuals.  

 

The list, submitted to the UN by Germany, includes Abu Musa�ab Al-Zarqawi (also known as Ahmed Fadil Al-Khalayleh, among other aliases), who provided financial and other support to the terrorists who assassinated U.S. diplomat Laurence Foley in Amman, Jordan last October.   Zarqawi has also been involved in smuggling terrorists into Israel, has arranged training for Jordanian terrorists in al-Qaida camps.   In his speech to the United Nations Security Council last February, Secretary of State Powell revealed that under the regime of Saddam Hussein, Zarqawi and his network found refuge in Iraq and Zarqawi himself was treated in a Baghdad hospital.   Zarqawi�s network also established a poisons and explosives training camp in Northwest Iraq.

 

Also designated are members of Zarqawi�s German-based terrorist cell Al Tawhid, an organization with close links to al-Qaida.   The German government has established that Zarqawi serves as the operational leader of the cell.

 

This action underscores the international commitment to fight terrorist financing.   Since September 11, 2001, 173 countries have issued blocking orders to freeze assets, and $136.8 million has been frozen worldwide.   With today�s designation, the U.S. has now listed a total of 320 individuals and organizations as terrorists and terrorist supporters since September 11, 2001.

 

The following individuals were designated today:

 


      Abu Musa�ab AL-ZARQAWI

      Mohamed ABU DHESS

      Shadi ABDALLA

      Aschraf AL-DAGMA

      Ismail SHALABI

      Djamel MOUSTFA


 

A fact sheet on today�s designation and excerpts from Secretary Powell�s speech to the UN Security Council discussing Zarqawi are attached.


FACT SHEET                                             September 23, 2003

 

ABU MUSA'AB AL-ZARQAWI

AKAs: KHALAILAH, Ahmed Fadee Ii AL-KHALAYLAH, Ahmad Fadi1 Nazza1i ABU AL-MU'TAZ

 

Abu Musa'ab a1-ZARQAWI, a Jordanian citizen, has ties to a1-Qaida, Asbat a1-Ansar and Hizba11ah.   In addition to providing the financial and material support for the assassination of a U.S. diplomat, he has participated in acts of terrorism, trained terrorist, led terrorist cells, facilitated transport of terrorists and is being cited in the international press as a suspect in the recent devastating bombing of the Jordanian embassy in Baghdad.

 

ZARQAWI has arranged training for terrorists at a1-Qaida camps. While he was in Pakistan, ZARQAWI made contact with a1-Qaida to train Jordanians. His operatives (called "Jund a1-Sham") began to arrive in Afghanistan in large numbers in 1999. Some of these operatives trained at a1-Qaida's a1-Faruq Camp, where they received full support   from a1-Qaida. ZARQAWI eventually established his own cell and camp in Herat, Afghanistan.

 

Plans were made to send ZARQAWI's operatives to meet with Asbat a1-Ansar (designated under E.O. 13224 as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist on September 24, 2001 and as a Foreign Terrorist Organization on March 27, 2002), Hizballah and any other group that would enable them to smuggle mujaheddin into Palestine. This plan was launched by ZARQAWI with other terrorist leaders in order to smuggle operatives into Israel to conduct operations. In addition to being tasked with finding a mechanism that would enable more suicide martyrs to enter Israel, these operatives were also sent to provide training on explosives, poisons, and remote controlled devices.

 

In October 2000, ZARQAWI was indicted in absentia in Jordan for his role in the al-Qaida Millennium bombing plot targeting the Radisson SAS hotel in Amman as well as other American, Israeli, and Christian religious sites in Jordan.

 

In mid 2001, ZARQAWI returned to Qandahar from Herat. At this time, he had received more than U.S. $35,000 for work in Palestine. ZARQAWI planned to use the money to bring more Jordanian and Palestinian mujaheddin to the camp in Herat, to purchase passports, and to facilitate travel to Lebanon. He received assurances that further financing would be provided for attacks against Israel. In early 2002, ZARQAWI was reported to have found a way into Palestine.

 

On October 28, 2002, U.S. diplomat Laurence Foley, an officer with the U.S. Agency for International Development, was assassinated in Amman, Jordan. ZARQAWI provided financial and material support for this assassination. Key individuals involved in both the planning and execution of the operation had strong ties to Afghan Jihad, the International Mujaheddin Movement, and al-Qaida. One of these individuals, Salim Sa'd Salim Bin-Suwayd, a member of al-Qaida, received more than U.S. $50,000 for his cooperation in planning assassinations in Jordan against U.S., Israeli, and Jordanian government officials. ZARQAWI instructed Suwayd to hide after he had completed his first operation and to plan to pursue additional operations against Israeli and Jordanian targets in Amman in the future. Jordanian authorities arrested Suwayd for the murder. The trial of Suwayd, a Libyan national, is currently underway in Jordan.

 

In late 2002, ZARQAWI traveled to Iraq where he initiated plans to smuggle additional small arms, explosives, and rockets (NFl) into Jordan for use by his terrorist cell.

 

DOB: 20 October 1966

POB: Zarqa, Jordan

Passport Number: Z264958; Issued 4 April 1999, valid through 4 April 2004 (also using fraudulent Lebanese and Saudi passports (NFl))

Citizenship: Jordan

National No. 9661031030

 

Additional information on ZARQAWI can be found in excerpts from Secretary of State Colin L. Powell's Remarks to the United Nations Security Council on 5 February 2003 at www.state.gov//document/organization/20124.pdf.

 

 

ZARQAWI 'S GERMAN CELL

 

The German government has established that ZARQAWI is the operational leader of Al Tawhid, an organization with close personal and organizational links to the al-Qaida network. Al Tawhid, which has the figurative meaning of "unity of all the faithful" -is the name of a Palestinian Sunni movement with roots in Jordan. It is waging a campaign against the Jordanian monarchy, which it rejects as "un-Islamic." Based on a militant interpretation of Islam, the Al Tawhid movement promotes and supports the "jihad" of all fellow-believers worldwide; in particular, the "fight against non-believers and crusaders" led by Usama bin Laden and al-Qaida.

 

The German government notes that an independent Al Tawhid cell was formed in Germany by September 2001. Formed around Mohamed ABU DHESS, the cell worked in both an isolated and clandestine manner. In addition to ZARQAWI, members of the cell included Mohamed ABU DHESS, Shadi ABDALLA, Aschraf AI-DAGMA, and Ismail SHALABI, who were living in Beckum, German. In early September 2001, ZARQAWI met his confidant, Mohamed ABU DHESS, in Iran and instructed him to commit terrorist attacks against Jewish or Israeli facilities in Germany with "his people."

 

According to the German government, the group was involved in gathering donations, smuggling "fighters" and forging passports, but then increasingly concentrated on planning the attacks in Germany. ZARQAWI urged them to carry out his instructions swiftly. The members of the cell planned to use a pistol fitted with a silencer to carry out an attack on a busy square in a German town or city and to explode hand grenades in another German town in the immediate vicinity of an Israeli or Jewish property with the aim of killing as many people as possible. The attacks were supposed to be carried out by Shadi ABDALLA, Aschraf AL-DAGMA and Ismail SHALABI.

 

The German government has also stated that Shadi ABDALLA, a trusted ally of ZARQAWI with close contacts to Mohamed ABU DHESS, was instructed to identify potential targets in German cities and, above all, to obtain the necessary weapons. In March 2002 he ordered a pistol fitted with a silencer and a crate of hand grenades from Djamel MOUSTFA, a supporter of the cell based in Dusseldorf. However, before the weapons could be delivered, Shadi ABDALLA, Mohamed ABU DHESS, Aschraf AL-DAGMA, Ismail SHALABI and Djamel MOUSTFA were arrested along with other suspects on April 23, 2002. All five of them are currently in detention awaiting trial.

 

Shadi ABDALLA was indicted by the German Public Prosecutor General of the Federal Court of Justice on May 15, 2003 before the State Security Division of the

Dusseldorf Higher Regional Court
for being a member of a terrorist organization and for the organized forging of passports. The investigations against Mohamed ABU DHESS, Aschraf AL-DAGMA, Ismail SHALABI, and Djamel MOUSTFA are still ongoing.

 

 

In addition to ZARQAWI, the German government submitted several Al Tawhid members to the United Nations to be added to the UN Security Council Resolution 1267-list of terrorists and terrorist supporters. The U.S. supports the UN action to designate the following individuals:

 


      Mohamed ABU DHESS

      Shadi ABDALLA

      Aschraf AL-DAGMA

      Ismail SHALABI

      Djamel MOUSTFA



EXCERPTS FROM REMARKS TO THE UN SECURITY COUNCIL BY SECRETARY OF STATE COLIN POWELL


New York City
February 5, 2003

 

Iraq today harbors a deadly terrorist network headed by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi an associate and collaborator of Usama bin Laden and his al-Qaida lieutenants.

Zarqawi, Palestinian born in Jordan, fought in the Afghan war more than a decade ago. Returning to Afghanistan in 2000, he oversaw a terrorist training camp. One of his specialties, and one of the specialties of this camp, is poisons.

When our coalition ousted the Taliban, the Zarqawi network helped establish another poison and explosive training center camp, and this camp is located in northeastern Iraq. You see a picture of this camp.

The network is teaching its operatives how to produce ricin and other poisons. Let me remind you how ricin works. Less than a pinch -- imagine a pinch of salt -- less than a pinch of ricin, eating just this amount in your food, would cause shock, followed by circulatory failure. Death comes within 72 hours and there is no antidote. There is no cure. It is fatal.

Those helping to run this camp are Zarqawi lieutenants operating in northern Kurdish areas outside Saddam Hussein's controlled Iraq. But Baghdad has an agent in the most senior levels of the radical organization Ansar al-Islam that controls this corner of Iraq. In 2000, this agent offered al-Qaida safe haven in the region.

After we swept al-Qaida from Afghanistan, some of those members accepted this safe haven. They remain there today.

Zarqawi's activities are not confined to this small corner of northeast Iraq. He traveled to Baghdad in May of 2002 for medical treatment, staying in the capital of Iraq for two months while he recuperated to fight another day.

During his stay, nearly two dozen extremists converged on Baghdad and established a base of operations there. These al-Qaida affiliates based in Baghdad now coordinate the movement of people, money and supplies into and throughout Iraq for his network, and they have now been operating freely in the capital for more than eight months.

Iraqi officials deny accusations of ties with al-Qaida. These denials are simply not credible. Last year, an al-Qaida associate bragged that the situation in Iraq was "good," that Baghdad could be transited quickly.

We know these affiliates are connected to Zarqawi because they remain, even today, in regular contact with his direct subordinates, include the poison cell plotters. And they are involved in moving more than money and materiel. Last year, two suspected al-Qaida operatives were arrested crossing from Iraq into Saudi Arabia. They were linked to associates of the Baghdad cell and one of them received training in Afghanistan on how to use cyanide.

From his terrorist network in Iraq, Zarqawi can direct his network in the Middle East and beyond. We in the United States, all of us, the State Department and the Agency for International Development, we all lost a dear friend with the cold-blooded murder of Mr. Laurence Foley in Amman, Jordan, last October. A despicable act was committed that day, the assassination of an individual whose sole mission was to assist the people of Jordan. The captured assassin says his cell received money and weapons from Zarqawi for that murder. After the attack, an associate of the assassin left Jordan to go to Iraq to obtain weapons and explosives for further operations. Iraqi officials protest that they are not aware of the whereabouts of Zarqawi or of any of his associates. Again, these protests are not credible. We know of Zarqawi's activities in Baghdad. I described them earlier.

Now let me add one other fact. We asked a friendly security service to approach Baghdad about extraditing Zarqawi and providing information about him and his close associates. This service contacted Iraqi officials twice and we passed details that should have made it easy to find Zarqawi. The network remains in Baghdad. Zarqawi still remains at large, to come and go.

As my colleagues around this table and as the citizens they represent in Europe know, Zarqawi's terrorism is not confined to the Middle East. Zarqawi and his network have plotted terrorist actions against countries including France, Britain, Spain, Italy, Germany and Russia. According to detainees Abu Atiya, who graduated from Zarqawi's terrorist camp in Afghanistan, tasked at least nine North African extremists in 2001 to travel to Europe to conduct poison and explosive attacks.

Since last year, members of this network have been apprehended in France, Britain, Spain and Italy. By our last count, 116 operatives connected to this global web have been arrested. The chart you are seeing shows the network in Europe.

We know about this European network and we know about its links to Zarqawi because the detainees who provided the information about the targets also provided the names of members of the network. Three of those he identified by name were arrested in France last December. In the apartments of the terrorists, authorities found circuits for explosive devices and a list of ingredients to make toxins.

The detainee who helped piece this together says the plot also targeted Britain. Later evidence again proved him right. When the British unearthed the cell there just last month, one British police officer was murdered during the destruction of the cell.

We also know that Zarqawi's colleagues have been active in the Pankisi Gorge, Georgia, and in Chechnya, Russia. The plotting to which they are linked is not mere chatter. Members of Zarqawi's network say their goal was to kill Russians with toxins.

We are not surprised that Iraq is harboring Zarqawi and his subordinates. This understanding builds on decades-long experience with respect to ties between Iraq and al-Qaida. Going back to the early and mid-1990s when bin Laden was based in Sudan, an al-Qaida source tells us that Saddam and bin Laden reached an understanding that al-Qaida would no longer support activities against Baghdad. Early al-Qaida ties were forged by secret high-level intelligence service contacts with al-Qaida, secret Iraqi intelligence high-level contacts with al-Qaida.

We know members of both organizations met repeatedly and have met at least eight times at very senior levels since the early 1990s. In 1996, a foreign security service tells us that bin Laden met with a senior Iraqi intelligence official in Khartoum and later met the director of the Iraqi intelligence service.

Saddam became more interested as he saw al-Qaida's appalling attacks. A detained al-Qaida member tells us that Saddam was more willing to assist al-Qaida after the 1998 bombings of our embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. Saddam was also impressed by al-Qaida's attacks on the USS Cole in Yemen in October 2000.

Iraqis continue to visit bin Laden in his new home in Afghanistan. A senior defector, one of Saddam's former intelligence chiefs in Europe, says Saddam sent his agents to Afghanistan sometime in the mid-1990s to provide training to al-Qaida members on document forgery.

From the late 1990s until 2001, the Iraqi Embassy in Pakistan played the role of liaison to the al-Qaida organization.

Some believe, some claim, these contacts do not amount to much. They say Saddam Hussein's secular tyranny and al-Qaida's religious tyranny do not mix. I am not comforted by this thought. Ambition and hatred are enough to bring Iraq and al-Qaida together, enough so al-Qaida could learn how to build more sophisticated bombs and learn how to forge documents, and enough so that al-Qaida could turn to Iraq for help in acquiring expertise on weapons of mass destruction.

And the record of Saddam Hussein's cooperation with other Islamist terrorist organizations is clear. Hamas, for example, opened an office in Baghdad in 1999 and Iraq has hosted conferences attended by Palestine Islamic Jihad. These groups are at the forefront of sponsoring suicide attacks against Israel.

Al-Qaida continues to have a deep interest in acquiring weapons of mass destruction. As with the story of Zarqawi and his network, I can trace the story of a senior terrorist operative telling how Iraq provided training in these weapons to al-Qaida. Fortunately, this operative is now detained and he has told his story. I will relate it to you now as he, himself, described it.

This senior al-Qaida terrorist was responsible for one of al-Qaida's training camps in Afghanistan. His information comes firsthand from his personal involvement at senior levels of al-Qaida. He says bin Laden and his top deputy in Afghanistan, deceased al-Qaida leader Muhammad Atif, did not believe that al-Qaida labs in Afghanistan were capable enough to manufacture these chemical or biological agents. They needed to go somewhere else. They had to look outside of Afghanistan for help.

Where did they go? Where did they look? They went to Iraq. The support that this detainee describes included Iraq offering chemical or biological weapons training for two al-Qaida associates beginning in December 2000. He says that a militant known as Abdallah al-Iraqi had been sent to Iraq several times between 1997 and 2000 for help in acquiring poisons and gasses. Abdallah al-Iraqi characterized the relationship he forged with Iraqi officials as successful.

As I said at the outset, none of this should come as a surprise to any of us. Terrorism has been a tool used by Saddam for decades. Saddam was a supporter of terrorism long before these terrorist networks had a name, and this support continues. The nexus of poisons and terror is new. The nexus of Iraq and terror is old. The combination is lethal.

With this track record, Iraqi denials of supporting terrorism take their place alongside the other Iraqi denials of weapons of mass destruction. It is all a web of lies.�

 

  
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