Brown to freeze assets of Bali blast suspect

Brown to freeze assets of Bali blast suspect

Chancellor Gordon Brown has ordered British banks and other financial institutions to freeze assets owned by Jemaah Islamiah, the Indonesian Islamic extremist, blamed for the Bali bombings.

Link: Anti-terror unit needs more accountants

The move was announced at a joint press conference with home secretary David Blunkett, who said the group, with alleged links to Al Qaida, has been added to the UK list of banned terrorist groups.

Brown issued a statement claiming Jemaah Islamiah ‘engages in terrorism with’ the aim of establishing a fundamentalist republic covering Malaysia, Singapore and parts of the Philippines.

He claimed: ‘By freezing its assets we will undermine its future operations.

‘If fanaticism is the heart of modern terrorism, then finance is its lifeblood. All countries must act to cut off the supply of terrorist finance.’

He and Blunkett published Combating the Financing of Terrorism, an overview of UK and international action to target, disrupt and cut off terrorist finance including:

  • over 100 organisations and 200 individuals placed on sanctions lists and any assets frozen;
  • over 20 arrests, 15 charges and the first conviction for terrorist financing;
  • 15 non-governmental ‘charitable’ agencies with suspected links to terrorism.

There have been 3,500 suspicious transactions reported since September 11th, with 600 being passed to the Financial Intelligence Unit at NCIS, which has produced three detailed reports on high profile individuals suspected of being involved in the financing of terrorism.

The report called for the Financial Action Task Force, spearheading the international effort to root out terror financing, to finalise the precise obligations of countries and give the support necessary for implementation.

It also urged FATF to develop further in-depth intelligence on terrorist networks, increase the multilateral capacity to share information and speed up the process of identifying individuals with suspected terrorist links.

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