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West cracks down on Saudi group identified as funding source for Al Qaida

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  • gwen831
    http://www.geostrategy-direct.com/geostrategy-direct/secure/2005/1_04/2.asp West cracks down on Saudi group identified as funding source for Al Qaida The
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 2, 2005
      http://www.geostrategy-direct.com/geostrategy-direct/secure/2005/1_04/2.asp


      West cracks down on Saudi group identified as funding source for Al Qaida

      The United States has designated a Saudi opposition leader a terrorist
      financier.

      The Treasury Department has identified Saad Al Faqih as a financier to
      Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaida. The department said Al Faqih maintained
      relations with Bin Laden since the mid-1990s and with Al Qaida's
      representative in Britain.

      The United States, Britain and Saudi Arabia asked the United Nations
      Security Council to freeze Al Faqih's assets and prevent him from
      international travel. Al Faqih, head of the Movement for Islamic
      Reform in Saudi Arabia, has been based in London and has sought to
      incite nationwide protests against the Saudi kingdom.

      On Dec. 23, the United Nations imposed sanctions on Al Faqih and
      another Saudi national, identified as Adel Batterjee, who has headed
      Saudi-financed charities in the United States.

      Britain has frozen the assets of the group in a move that could hamper
      the Saudi opposition.

      British Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown instructed the Bank
      of England to direct all British financial institutions to "freeze"
      any funds held for or on behalf of the Saudi opposition group. A
      statement by the British Treasury said it believed that the opposition
      group was acting on behalf of Al Faqih.

      The British action outlaws any financial dealings with Al Faqih and
      the Movement for Islamic Reform in Arabia. Al Faqih has been listed as
      director and spokesman of the opposition group.

      In mid-December, Al Faqih organized demonstrations throughout Saudi
      Arabia. But Saudi security forces, using helicopters and armored
      vehicles, dispersed virtually all of the protests.

      The United States has asserted that Al Faqih maintained associations
      with Al Qaida since the mid-1990s. The Bush administration added that
      Al Faqih paid for a satellite phone that Bin Laden allegedly used to
      order the bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998.

      So far, the UN Security Council has listed 318 individuals and 115
      groups under sanctions, which require member states to impose a travel
      ban and freeze their financial assets. The Saudi-born Al Faqih, 58,
      was said to have a bank account in London.

      "Al Faqih and Al Fawwaz shared an office in the late 1990s, and Al
      Faqih worked with and provided assistance to Al Fawwaz, who served as
      the intermediary between Osama Bin Laden and Al Faqih," the Treasury
      Department said.

      The department statement said Al Faqih was associated with Al Qaida
      fugitive Abu Musab Al Suri, also known as Mustafa Nasar. The statement
      said the website of the Movement for Islamic Reform in Arabia has been
      used by Bin Laden supporters to post Al Qaida-related statements and
      images. The website has issued disclaimers warning users not to
      attribute postings on the movement's message boards to Al Qaida.

      The United States also designated Adel Abdul Batterjee a terrorist
      financier. The 47-year-old Batterjee was identified as a financier to
      groups that have supported Al Qaida in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Chechnya
      and Sudan.

      "Adel Batterjee has ranked as one of the world's foremost terrorist
      financiers, who employed his private wealth and a network of
      charitable fronts to bankroll the murderous agenda of Al Qaida," said
      Treasury Undersecretary Stuart Levey. "A worldwide asset freeze,
      including in his home country of Saudi Arabia, will deal a serious
      blow to this key terrorist facilitator."

      Batterjee was director of the Benevolence International Foundation
      (BIF), incorporated in the United States in 1993. He resigned and
      selected Bin Laden confidante Enaam Arnaout to head the organization,
      Treasury said.

      Arnaout was indicted in the United States and in 2003 pleaded guilty
      to criminal racketeering conspiracy.

      "Evidence of BIF's ties to Al Qaida surfaced in March 2002 searches by
      Bosnian authorities of the organization's Sarajevo offices," Treasury
      said.

      "These searches uncovered numerous handwritten documents detailing the
      origin and history of the Al Qaida organization. Among the recovered
      files was a copy of a 1988 handwritten draft listing wealthy
      financiers of Osama Bin Laden's mujahadeen operations in Afghanistan,
      referred to within Al Qaida as the Golden Chain."
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