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EU Expands Terror Blacklist, Adding Five Palestinian Groups

June 19, 2002|From Associated Press

BRUSSELS — The European Union published an expanded blacklist of terrorist organizations Tuesday that added five Palestinian groups, including one linked to Yasser Arafat, to those liable to face asset freezes and other sanctions.

The new additions bring the EU list largely in line with one drawn up by the United States in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

The new list includes the Jewish extremist group Kahane Chai, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, and four individuals accused of belonging to the Basque separatist group ETA, which has carried out hundreds of bombings and shootings in Spain.

Although the list was approved by EU foreign ministers, it does not mean that those on it will automatically face punitive measures. It is entirely up to individual governments to implement sanctions or asset freezes.

The new list includes the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, which is linked to Arafat's Fatah movement. Al Aqsa has claimed responsibility for a number of suicide attacks on Israelis.

Also added were the Palestine Liberation Front; the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine; the Abu Nidal Organization; and the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, a U.S.-based charity that has been accused of channeling funds to the militant Palestinian group Hamas.

Israel welcomed the decision to add the Palestinian groups but expressed disappointment that the Iranian-backed Hezbollah, which targets Israel from Lebanon, was not included.

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