US, Saudi slap sanctions on terrorist financing fund

Washington (AFP)

The United States Treasury said Tuesday it and Saudi Arabia were imposing sanctions on a charity fund alleged to provide financing "terrorist" groups including Al-Qaeda, the Taliban and Lashkar-e-Taiba.


The sanctions aim to disrupt the financing and operations of Al-Furqan Foundation Welfare Trust, a charity group based in Peshawar, Pakistan.

The Treasury said Al-Furqan is the successor to the Pakistan branches of the Afghan Support Committee and Revival of Islamic Heritage Society.

Both were designated as global terrorist entities and listed on the United Nations's Al-Qaeda sanctions list in 2002.

The Treasury said the operation had changed its name to skirt sanctions and "continue its terrorist financing activities."

Some of the funds for the group came from individuals in the Gulf, it said.

Saudi Arabia designated Al-Furqan under its Law of Terrorism Crimes and Financing and the Royal Decree A/44, the Treasury said in a statement.

The sanctions freeze any assets of Al-Furqan under the jurisdiction of each country and generally bars Americans and Saudis from doing business with it.

"Today's joint action reflects the strength of US and Saudi cooperation on countering the financing of terrorism," said Adam Szubin, the Treasury's acting under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, in the statement.

"We are committed to exposing terrorist financiers, especially those who masquerade as charities."

The US alleged that Al-Furqan is a major pipeline of financial and material support for terrorist groups and their activities in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

As of November 2013, it was providing funding for the US designated terrorist training center Ganj Madrassa, which was controlled by Al-Qaeda facilitator Shaykh Aminullah. And as of mid-2014, Al-Furqan provided tens of thousands of US dollars to the leaders of the Pakistani militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba, the department said.

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