U.S. designates AQAP suspect

Dec. 7, 2010 at 3:11 PM
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WASHINGTON, Dec. 7 (UPI) -- Washington is freezing the assets of al-Qaida operative Fahd al-Quso for his connection to top militant leaders in Yemen, the U.S. State Department said.

Quso was added to the United Nations' so-called 1267 list of individuals sanctioned for alleged ties to al-Qaida. The State Department in a simultaneous decision said it was listing Quso as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist.

Daniel Benjamin, the U.S. ambassador for counter-terrorism, said the designation addresses key threats to the United States.

"Today's joint designation by the United States and the United Nations alerts the public that Fahd al-Quso is actively engaged in terrorism," he said in a statement. "These actions expose and isolate individuals like al-Quso and results in denial of access to the global financial system."

The State Department accuses Quso of having a hand in the 2000 attack on the USS Cole in the Port of Yemen and for associating with Anwar al-Awlaki, the ideological leader of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula.

The designation came on the same day that the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia threw out a case against U.S. President Barack Obama for putting Awlaki on a CIA hit list.

Obama was charged by Alwaki's son of violating the law by targeting Awlaki, a U.S. national.

U.S. District Judge John Bates in an opinion released by the court Tuesday said that while Awlaki's father doesn't have the authority to intervene, the "extraordinary case" raises questions about whether the United States can target its own citizens without judicial oversight.

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