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23 September 2005

Too Few Countries Blocking Terrorist Assets, Treasury Aide Says

Financial sanctions must aim also at weapons proliferation, Glaser adds

By Bruce Odessey
Washington File Staff Writer

Washington -- Too few countries have blocked assets of non-al Qaida terrorists and terrorist groups as required by United Nations resolutions, a U.S. Treasury Department official says.

Daniel Glaser, acting assistant secretary of the Treasury, urged countries to implement the U.N. resolutions for targeted financial sanctions "with the bold effect they were meant to have on terrorist support networks."

Glaser spoke September 23 in Washington at a session on the margins of International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank annual meetings.

Implementing only the U.N. resolution for blocking assets of al Qaida-related entities is inadequate when so many other terrorist groups are at work, he said.

"Entire regions of the world ... do not even attempt to implement this U.N. requirement," Glaser said.

Targeted financial sanctions should aim not only at fighting terrorism but also at dismantling the financial networks that support proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), he said.

The United States has designated not only terrorist entities but also entities associated with WMD proliferation, he said, freezing their assets in the United States and prohibiting U.S. persons from doing business with the designated people and groups.

Glaser reminded the audience that the IMF and World Bank have agreed to assess countries' compliance with international standards against money laundering and terrorist finance.

The effectiveness of financial sanctions multiplies as more countries implement sanctions, disrupting the activities of terrorist groups while exposing important financial intelligence for investigators, he said.

"In the end, our efforts can save lives and constitute a vital contribution to the international effort to combat terrorists and other groups that prey on our society," Glaser said. "The time for aggressive action is now."

The full text of Glaser’s prepared remarks is available on Treasury’s Web site.  A related press release can be accessed at the IMF Web site.

For additional information, see Terrorist Financing.