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U.S. freezes assets of Syrian funding Zarqawi (WORLD TRIBUNE) 01/26/05)Source: http://www.worldtribune.com/worldtribune/05/front2453397.3055555555.html WORLD TRIBUNE WORLD TRIBUNE Articles-Index-TopPublishers-Index-Top
The Bush administration has ordered the freezing of the assets of a Syrian national identified as a financier and recruiter of the Sunni insurgency in Iraq.

Officials said the Syrian has relayed funds to Abu Mussib Al Zarqawi, regarded as the most lethal insurgent in Iraq.

The Syrian national was identified as Sulayman Khalid Darwish. The Treasury Department said Darwish was linked to Al Zarqawi and Al Qaida´s network in Iraq.

"Darwish handles mostly financial issues for Al Zarqawi, collecting and distributing funds for him," Treasury said on Jan. 25. "Specifically, Darwish sent donations of $10,000 to $12,000 to Al Zarqawi in Iraq every 20-25 days. Darwish sent the money into Iraq through suicide attack volunteers who were entering the country."

A Treasury statement said Darwish transferred funds and other support to Al Zarqawi, Middle East Newsline reported. It quoted the Syrian embassy in Washington as saying Darwish has been on "top of the wanted list by Syrian security forces and counterterrorism intelligence agencies."

Under the move, Darwish´s bank accounts and other assets would be frozen in the United States. The next step, officials said, would be to freeze Darwish´s assets throughout all United Nations member states.

Officials said the administration has persuaded Syria to also freeze Darwish´s assets. They did not provide an estimate of Darwish´s assets in Syria.

"This terrorist financier is helping support Al Zarqawi, who has launched violent acts against our troops, coalition partners and the Iraqi people," Treasury Secretary John Snow said. "Identifying financial operatives and choking off the flow of blood money moves us closer to our ultimate goal of fracturing the financial backbone of the Iraqi insurgency and Al Qaida." (Copyright © 2005 East West Services, Inc. 01/26/05)

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