U.S. designates Saudi, Spaniard terrorists

Dec. 15, 2011 at 12:38 PM
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WASHINGTON, Dec. 15 (UPI) -- The U.S. State Department said Thursday it designated Saleh al-Qarawi, a leader in a Lebanese militant organization, as a specially designated global terrorist.

Al-Qarawi, a Saudi citizen, fought U.S. forces in Fallujah alongside al-Qaida in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi before becoming a senior leader of the Abdullah Azzam Brigades, which reportedly claimed responsibility for the July 28, 2010, bombing of a Japanese oil tanker as well as firing several rockets from Lebanon into Israel since 2009, the State Department said in a release.

An Interpol Orange Notice was issued March 25, 2009, for al-Qarawi for terror-related activities.

The U.S. designation "blocks all of al-Qarawi's property interests subject to U.S. jurisdiction and prohibits U.S. persons from engaging in transactions with or for the benefit of al-Qarawi," the release said. "The action taken against this individual demonstrates the United States' resolve in eliminating AAB's ability to execute violent attacks. The Department of State took these actions in consultation with the departments of Justice and Treasury."

The State Department also designated Jose Antonio Urruticoechea Bengoechea, a leader of the Basque Fatherland and Liberty group, known by its Spanish initials ETA, as a terrorist.

"Urruticoechea's status as a long-term ETA member and his engagement in terrorist activities such as murder, bombings, recruiting, training and providing logistical support for a terrorist organization, constitute a threat to U.S. interests," the State Department said.

"Urruticoechea is wanted for terrorism and the murder of 11 people. He has played a decisive role in ETA's terrorist activities for decades, both from prison, where he spent more than 10 years, and for more than a decade as a fugitive from justice."

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