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U.S. Orders Freeze on Assets of Arab Charity

May 30, 2003|From Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The Bush administration Thursday ordered U.S. banks to freeze the financial assets of an Arab charity suspected of funneling money to the militant Islamic group Hamas.

The action against the Al Aqsa Foundation was taken by the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control and comes on the same day the British government ordered financial institutions there to freeze the group's assets.

The foundation has offices in Europe and other countries, but it does not have branches in the United States, Treasury officials said.

The Treasury Department labeled the foundation a specially designated global terrorist entity, meaning any financial assets belonging to the group in the U.S. are blocked and dealings with the group are banned.

Treasury officials did not provide an estimate of how much money was diverted from the foundation to Hamas.

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