30/05/2003

Chancellor freezes terror assets

In one of the latest moves in the war against terror, Chancellor Gordon Brown has instructed UK financial institutions to freeze all assets belonging to the Al-Aqsa Foundation.

The move, prompted by recent Intelligence reports linking the organisation with terrorist activity, has been taken in parallel with similar asset freezes put in place in the United States and several other countries.

Announcing the freeze yesterday, Mr Brown said: "Recent terrorist atrocities in Saudi Arabia and Morocco show that we must remain constantly vigilant and bear down strongly on terrorism and the people who fund it. Today's action, taken in coordination with our international allies, will ensure that no UK funds belonging to the Al-Aqsa Foundation can be used to support terrorism."

Strong evidence from international law enforcement agencies links the foundation with terrorist activity. It claims to be a charity supporting widows and orphans.

The Chancellor has instructed the Bank of England to ensure that all financial institutions take immediate action to freeze its assets.

(GMcG/SP)

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