US designates al-Zarqawi group as terrorist organization D. Wes Rist at 3:53 PM ET
The US State Department has announced that Jama'at al-Tawhid wa'al-Jihad (BBC News profile here), the terror group allegedly run by Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi and which has claimed responsibility for the murders and beheadings of several Americans in Iraq, has been formally designated a terrorist organization under the US Immigration and Nationality Act. The radical Muslim group had already been listed as a terrorist organization by the UN Al-Quaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee under UN Security Council Resolution 1267 [PDF] (official list here). State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said Friday that Jama'at al-Tawhid wa'al-Jihad has also been termed a Specially Designated Global Terrorist under Executive Order 13224 and has been submitted for inclusion on the UN Sanctions Committee. The new classifications make it illegal for a United States citizen to provide material support to the group, freeze all financial assests that are under US jurisdiction, and block travel rights of individuals identified as members of the organization. If the organization is included on the Al-Quaida and Taliban Sanctions List, UN member-states are obligated to freeze all assets, prevent arms sales to members of the organization, and block the travel of its members. Member-states are also obligated to pursue all domestic criminal sanctions that are appropriate to any individual on the list in their jurisdiction. Read the State Department press release here.
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