Press Center

 Designation of 10 Terrorist Financiers Fact Sheet


4/19/2002

 

FROM THE OFFICE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS

 

"Today we block the finances of an assortment of terrorists involved in financing and carrying out bombings, kidnappings and murder. We will continue to expose and shut down these thugs wherever we find them."

  Treasury Secretary Paul 'Neill

 

Today the Department of Treasury designated nine individuals and one organization, all linked to al Qaida and Usama bin Laden, under President Bush's Executive Order 13224 and took blocking action against them. Today's action will block all assets these entities have in the United States and prohibits any financial interaction between U.S. persons and these entities and individuals. Including today's designation, the Department of Treasury has blocked the assets of 202 entities and individuals. 161 countries have joined us in issuing blocking orders against these groups and individuals and $104 million has been frozen worldwide. $34 million of that has been blocked domestically in the United States with the remaining $70 million blocked by our international partners.

1. THE AID ORGANIZATION OF THE ULEMA

When President Bush initiated the financial war on terrorism in September 2001, the al Rashid Trust was among the first organizations named as a financial facilitator of terrorists. The organization changed its name to The Aid Organization of the Ulema (AOU) and remains active. The AOU is headquartered in Pakistan, and continues to operate offices there. They have been raising funds for the Taliban since 1999. This designation captures the re-named office and identifies additional locations of other branch offices in Pakistan.

2. NASREDDIN, Ahmed Idris

Ahmed Idris Nasreddin provides direct support for Youssef Nada and Bank Al Taqwa, both of which were designated as terrorist financiers by the Department of Treasury on November 7, 2001. On the same date, Treasury named four additional individuals as terrorist financers connected to al Taqwa: Zeinab Mansour-Fattouh, Mohamed Mansour, Albert Friedrich Armand Huber, and Ali Ghaleb Himmat. The al Taqwa group has long acted as financial advisers to al Qaida, with offices in Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Italy and the Caribbean. Ahmed Idris Nasreddin and Youssef Nada are both founders and directors of Bank Al Taqwa. Usama bin Laden and his al-Qaida organization received financial assistance from Youssef Nada. Al Taqwa provides investment advice and cash transfer mechanisms for al Qaida and other radical Islamic groups.

3. Es Sayed, Abdelkadir Mahmoud

An order for preventive detention of Es Sayed, an Egyptian national, has been issued in absentia by the prosecutor's office in Milan, Italy. He has been indicted for participation in a criminal conspiracy to traffic in arms, explosives, chemical weapons, identity papers, and for aiding illegal immigration. Es Sayed is considered to be the organizer of alQaida's Milan cell. Numerous wiretaps have been collected by investigators in the past months which show that Es Sayed was in contact with the leadership of al Qaida. In one of the conversations, he says that he had been sent to Milan to reorganize the "Muslim brothers" who were hit by the investigations starting in the early 1990s. Es Sayed was convicted in Egypt for the massacre at Luxor in which 58 foreign tourists were killed.

4. AL-FAWAZ, Khalid

Khalid Al-Fawaz was indicted in the United States for conspiring to bomb the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. The United States is seeking his extradition from the United Kingdom. Al Fawaz was sent to London by Usama bin Laden in1994, where he set up an office to serve as a conduit among various al Qaida cells.

5. AL-MASRI, Abu Hamza

Abu Hamza al-Masri identifies himself as the Legal Officer for the Islamic Army of Aden, the terrorist organization that claimed credit for the bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen. The President designated the Islamic Army of Aden as a financier of terrorism when he launched the financial war on terrorism on September 24, 2001. In written statements, Hamza seeks support and backing for jihad against the Yemeni regime and the return to Islamic law. The Islamic Army of Aden has taken responsibility for the kidnapping of foreigners, including the kidnapping of 16 tourists in December of 1998, that resulted in the killing of three Britons and one Australian. In interviews, Hamza has endorsed the killing of non-Muslim tourists visiting Muslim countries.

INDIVIDUALS LINKED TO SALAFIST GROUP FOR CALL AND COMBAT

The following four individuals are members of an al Qaida cell operating in Italy that carried out logistical tasks in collaboration with similar groups active in Germany, the United Kingdom, and Algeria. The cell is part of the Salafist Group for Call and Combat, an Algerian terrorist organization that continues to terrorize North Africa. The President designated the Salafist Group for Call and Combat as a financier of terrorism when he launched the financial war on terrorism on September 24, 2001. The Salafist Group for Call and Combat was designated by the State Department as a Foreign Terrorist Organization on March 27, 2002.

6. Aouadi, Mohamed Ben Belgacem

Aouadi, a Tunisian national, has been convicted in Italy and is serving a five-year term in prison for being part of a group involved in trafficking of arms and explosives. He acted as a liaison with the Algerian-Spanish cell of al Qaida and was the man who procured the false documents for other al Qaida cell members.

7. Bouchoucha, Mokhtar

Bouchoucha, a Tunisian national, has been convicted in Italy and is serving a five-year term in prison for being part of a group involved in trafficking of arms and explosives.

8. Charaabi, Tarek

Charaabi, a Tunisian national, has been convicted in Italy and is serving a four-year term in prison for being part of a group involved in trafficking of arms and explosives.

9. ESSID, Sami Ben Khemais

Essid has been convicted in Italy and is serving a five-year term in prison for being part of a group involved in trafficking of arms and explosives.

10. Ben Heni, Lased

Ben Heni, a Libyan national, served as a liaison between the al Qaida cell in Italy, led by Ben Khemais, and the cell in Frankfurt that was dismantled in December 2000, before it was able to carry out an attack in Strasbourg. He has been indicted for participation in a criminal conspiracy to traffic in arms, explosives, chemical weapons, and identity papers, and for aiding illegal immigration. He was arrested in Germany in October and then extradited to Italy. At the time of his arrest, he bragged that he had been trained in the same camps frequented by Usama bin Laden.

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