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US Dept. of State: Three Chechen groups designated as terrorists

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  • mariuslab2002 <mariuslab@shaw.ca>
    http://usinfo.state.gov/topical/pol/terror/03022804.htm 28 February 2003 Three Chechen Groups Designated as Terrorists Boucher also reiterates need for
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 2, 2003
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      http://usinfo.state.gov/topical/pol/terror/03022804.htm


      28 February 2003

      Three Chechen Groups Designated as Terrorists
      Boucher also reiterates need for political solution in Chechnya

      Secretary of State Colin Powell recently designated three Chechen
      organizations -- the Islamic International Brigade, the Special
      Purpose Islamic Regiment, and the Riyadus-Salikhin Reconnaissance and
      Sabotage Battalion of Chechen Martyrs -- as terrorist groups, State
      Department Spokesman Richard Boucher announced February 28.

      "In making this designation, the United States calls on all Chechen
      leaders to renounce terrorist acts and cut any ties they may have to
      these terrorist groups and all who are affiliated with them," he said.

      Boucher added that "we do not consider all Chechen fighters to be
      terrorists," and he also reiterated the U.S. position that the
      Chechen conflict "cannot be resolved militarily and requires a
      political solution."

      Boucher also restated U.S. support "for the sovereignty and
      territorial integrity of Georgia."

      Following is Boucher's statement:

      U.S. Department of State
      Press Statement
      Richard Boucher, Spokesman
      Washington, DC
      February 28, 2003

      Terrorist Designation Under Executive Order 13224: Islamic
      International Brigade, Special Purpose Islamic Regiment, and Riyadus-
      salikhin Reconnaissance and Sabotage Battalion of Chechen Martyrs

      Secretary of State Colin L. Powell on February 14 designated three
      Chechen organizations -- the Islamic International Brigade, the
      Special Purpose Islamic Regiment, and the Riyadus-Salikhin
      Reconnaissance and Sabotage Battalion of Chechen Martyrs -- as
      terrorist groups under the Executive Order on terrorist financing.

      The Islamic International Brigade, the Special Purpose Islamic
      Regiment, and the Riyadus-Salikhin Battalion are violent groups
      responsible for committing numerous acts of terrorism in Russia,
      including hostage-taking and assassination, that have threatened the
      safety of U.S. citizens and U.S. national security or foreign policy
      interests. All three groups were directly involved in the seizure of
      over 800 hostages at Moscow's Dubrovka Theater last October, an
      incident that resulted in the deaths of 129 hostages, including one
      U.S. citizen.

      In making this designation, the United States calls on all Chechen
      leaders to renounce terrorist acts and cut any ties they may have to
      these terrorist groups and all who are affiliated with them. And we
      recognize that there are terrorist elements among those fighting
      Russian forces in Chechnya. At the same time, we do not consider all
      Chechen fighters to be terrorists.

      It remains our position that the broader conflict in Chechnya cannot
      be resolved militarily and requires a political solution. We have
      made this point repeatedly to the Russians. We urge Russia to pursue
      a political settlement and to establish meaningful accountability for
      human rights violations by its armed forces in Chechnya. We also
      condemn acts of terrorism and other abuses committed by armed Chechen
      groups.

      The United States also underscores its strong support for the
      sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia, a partner in the
      war on terrorism. We urge Russia to respect Georgia's sovereignty and
      territorial integrity while continuing to cooperate with Georgia and
      the United States on the issue of Chechen fighters and international
      terrorists in the Pankisi Gorge.

      Executive Order 13224 blocks assets of these groups that are in the
      United States or held by U.S. persons, wherever located. Among other
      things, it further has the effect of prohibiting any U.S. persons
      from making or receiving any contribution of funds, goods, or
      services for the benefit of these groups. The Office of Foreign
      Assets Control (OFAC) today added the names of these three groups to
      its website as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs).
      Section 1(b) of the Order, as amended, authorizes the Secretary of
      State to designate foreign entities and individuals that he
      determines -- in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury, the
      Attorney General, and the Secretary of Homeland Security -- to have
      committed, or to pose a significant risk of committing, acts of
      terrorism that threaten the security of U.S. nationals or the
      national security, foreign policy, or economy of the United States.

      Because these three groups are linked to Al-Qaida, the United States,
      Russia, the United Kingdom, China and Spain have requested today that
      the United Nations 1267 Sanctions Committee include the groups on its
      consolidated list pursuant to UN Security Council Resolutions 1267,
      1390 and 1455. France has also indicated it will join the
      designation. This would be the first time that all five permanent
      members of the Security Council have joined in submitting names to
      the 1267 Committee. All UN Member States are obligated to impose arms
      and travel sanctions on, and to freeze without delay assets of, any
      individual or entity on the consolidated list, and to prohibit their
      nationals or persons in their territories from making available any
      funds or other resources to such entities.

      End Text
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