U.S. targets al-Qaida financier

Aug. 25, 2010 at 11:50 AM
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WASHINGTON, Aug. 25 (UPI) -- A son-in-law of Osama bin Laden had his assets frozen because of allegations he was a major financier for al-Qaida, the U.S. Treasury Department declared.

The Treasury Department designated Muhammad Abdallah Hasan Abu-al-Khayr for his role with al-Qaida. He is accused of acting as a major financial and occasional recruiter for al-Qaida.

The government said he is also included on a Saudi government list of most wanted terrorist leaders because of his role as an al-Qaida financial facilitator.

He allegedly began working with al-Qaida in the 1990s when he received military training from the group. The 35-year-old Saudi national is also a son-in-law of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, occasionally acting as a bodyguard for the terrorist leader.

Stuart Levey, undersecretary of Treasury for terrorism and financial intelligence, said in a statement, that the "designation of Khayr by the United States and the United Nations will help to ensure that that al-Qaida remains in severe financial straits."

The United Nations took similar action by placing Khayr on the so-called 1267 list. Classification under the list requires U.N. member states to freeze the assets, impose a travel ban and prevent weapons from landing in the hands of designated individuals or entities.

"After the death in May of Mustafa Abu al-Yazid, who essentially served as al-Qaida's chief financial officer, we will continue to work with our allies to target those like Khayr who could step into Yazid's shoes," said Levey.

Yazid was killed by a missile fired from a U.S. drone in Pakistan in late May.

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