PHUKET (Thailand): The United States announced yesterday it had ordered a freeze on the financial assets of 10 alleged members of the Jemaah Islamiah (JI) group.
“This is an important further step in dealing with terrorism,” US Treasury Secretary John Snow said here at the conclusion of an Asia-Pacific economic meeting focused in part on clamping down on terrorist money flows.
“The assets of these individuals will be frozen and financial institutions will not be able to continue to have financial relationships with them,” he added.
“They would be closed off on a global basis from the ability to access financial institutions.”
The action identifies 10 individuals “at the heart of the network,” Snow said in a statement released in Washington prior to his announcement at the end of the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (Apec) finance ministers meeting.
JI is blamed for a string of attacks including Indonesian church bombings which killed 19 people on Christmas Eve 2000, the Bali blasts last Oct 12 that killed 202 people and last month's Jakarta Marriott hotel blast that claimed 12 lives.
“These terrorists have worked to achieve al-Qaeda's terrorist goals in South-East Asia,” Snow said in the statement.
“They have plotted to assassinate international leaders, they have planned and supported attacks such as the Bali bombing – a horrific act that took the lives of 200 people and wounded 300,” he added.
“We look forward to working with our allies in the region to dismantle JI, to shut down their sources of financing and support and to eliminate the threat that they present to the people of South-East Asia.”
Snow added that he greatly appreciated the support expressed by several Apec ministers on the subject of anti-terrorism efforts.
“Apec solidarity on the war on terrorism was an important highlight of this set of meetings and we welcome the support of this designation by our ministers,” he said.
The US designation would freeze assets belonging to the 10 JI members in the US and prohibit all transactions between them and US citizens.
The suspects' names were to be submitted by Washington to the United Nations yesterday.
After 72 hours, providing there were no objections, all UN members would have to freeze the assets, US officials here said.
The names were: Yasin Syawal, Mukhlis Yunos, Imam Samudra, Huda bin Abdul Haq (better known as Mukhlas), Parlindungan Siregar, Julkipli Salim Y. Salamuddin, Aris Munandar, Fathur Rohman Al-Ghozi, Agus Dwikarna and Abul Hakim Murad.
Snow said the nationalities of the 10 would eventually be released in Washington.
Washington also expected soon to freeze the assets of another 10 JI suspects whose names had been forwarded by an as-yet-unidentified Asian partner to the United Nations as part of a regional effort. – AFP
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