The United States Treasury announced today that it is continuing to take “coordinated action” with the international community to identify and impose financial sanctions on those who form part of the al Qaida terrorist network.
The Treasury Department is doing its part to block the property of four additional individuals, all of whom have been implicated in the German investigation of the 9/11 attacks. Today’s action furthers the ongoing efforts to shut down identified terrorist financing networks using targeted freezing actions under domestic and international law.
The four individuals named today have been identified, on the basis of extensive investigations by the German authorities, as members of the al Qaida cell in Hamburg, Germany. According to information provided to the U.S. government, it appears they knew, associated with, supported, and in some cases shared living space with three of the terrorists who were on board those planes: Mohammed Atta, Marwan Alshehhi, and Ziad Jarrah.
At present, one of the four named individuals, Mounir El Motassadeq, is under arrest in Germany. Another, Ramzi Binalshibh, is in U.S. custody, having been recently captured in Pakistan. The other two, Zakarya Essabar and Said Bahaji, remain fugitives from justice. The government of Germany has frozen their assets already. The U.S. Treasury said, *”We welcome the German Government’s referral of these individuals’ names to the United Nations Sanctions Committee, because the referral effectively cuts off their access to the global financial system and the use of any accounts in their names. Today’s action uses financial sanctions to send a message to al Qaida operatives around the world: we will deny you access to the financial system.”*
As with most of the important steps taken in the war against terrorist financing, this designation and freezing of assets is the product of international collaboration. Over 160 countries now have blocking orders in force, hundreds of accounts have been blocked abroad, and foreign law enforcement have acted swiftly to shut down terrorist financing networks.
Earlier this month, the Treasury Department released a fact sheet which highlights the agency’s efforts against terrorist financing since September 11, 2001.