Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the US Government has taken a number of steps to block terrorist funding.
On 23 September 2001, for example, the President signed Executive Order (EO) 13224. In general terms, the EO provides a means to disrupt the financial-support network for terrorists and terrorist organizations. It authorizes the US Government to designate and block the assets of foreign individuals and entities that commit, or pose a significant risk of committing, acts of terrorism. In addition, because of the pervasiveness and expansiveness of the financial foundations of foreign terrorists, the order authorizes the US Government to block the assets of individuals and entities that provide support—financial or other services—or assistance to, or otherwise associate with, designated terrorists and terrorist organizations. The EO also covers their subsidiaries, front organizations, agents, and associates.
The Secretary of State, in consultation with the Attorney General and the Secretary of the Treasury, has continued to designate foreign terrorist organizations (FTOs) pursuant to section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as amended. Among other consequences of such a designation, it is unlawful for US persons or any persons subject to the jurisdiction of the United States to provide funds or material support to a designated FTO. US financial institutions are also required to retain the funds of designated FTOs.
A few 2003 highlights follow:
- On 9 January, the United States designated Lajnat al-Daawa al Islamiyya, a Kuwaiti-based charity with links to al Qaida, after France submitted this charity's name to the UNSCR 1267 Sanctions Committee (Sanctions Committee) for worldwide asset freezing.
- On 24 January, the United States designated two key members of Jemaah Islamiyah, Nurjaman Riduan Isamuddin (a.k.a. Hambali) and Mohamad Iqbal Abdurrahman (a.k.a. Abu Jibril). Both names were also listed by the Sanctions Committee.
- On 30 January, under the authority of both the EO and the FTO, the United States designated Lashkar I Jhangvi, which was involved in the killing of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl. The Sanctions Committee also included this group on its consolidated list.
- On 20 February, the United States designated Ansar al-Islam—a terrorist group operating in northeastern Iraq with close links to and support from al-Qaida. The group was added to the Sanctions Committee list four days later.
- On 29 May, the United States designated the Al Aqsa Foundation, a major fund-raiser for HAMAS.
- On 22 August, the United States designated six top HAMAS leaders (Sheik Ahmed Ismail Yassin, Imad Khalil al-Alami, Usama Hamdan, Khalid Mishaal, Musa Abu Marzouk, and Abdel Azia Rantisi) and five HAMAS-supporting 172 charities (Comite de Bienfaisance et de Secours aux Palestinians, Association De Secours Palestinien (ASP), Palestinian Association of Austria (PVOE), Palestinian Relief and Development Fund (Interpal), and Sanibil Association for Relief and Development).
- On 19 September, the United States designated Abu Musa'ab al-Zarqawi, a terrorist with ties to al-Qaida, Asbat al-Ansar, Ansar al-Islam, and Hizballah who provided financial and material support for the assassination of a US diplomat and was cited in the international press as a suspect in the bombing of the Jordanian embassy in Baghdad. Germany and the United States submitted his name jointly to the Sanctions Committee.
As of 18 December 2003, the total number of individuals and entities designated under EO 13224 is 344. The US Government has blocked more than $36.5 million in assets of the Taliban, al-Qaida, and other terrorist entities and supporters. Other nations have blocked more than $100.3 million in assets.