US targets finances of suspected terrorists

The US government has moved to financially clamp down on four Indonesians they suspect are leaders of an al-Qaida-linked Southeast Asian terror group.

The US government has moved to financially clamp down on four Indonesians they suspect are leaders of an al-Qaida-linked Southeast Asian terror group.

The country’s treasury department said they are connected to the Jemaah Islamiyah terror group, which is believed to be behind deadly bombings in Bali in 2002 and 2005.

The department’s action, launched yesterday means that any bank accounts or other financial assets found in the United States belonging to the four people must be frozen. Americans are also forbidden from doing business with them.

The four targeted people are: Abu Bakar Ba’asyir, identified as the group’s top leader; Gun Gun Rusman Gunawan, described as a leader and founder of a Jemaah Islamiyah group in Pakistan called Al-Ghuraba; Taufik Rifki, Jemaah Islamiyah’s finance officer in the Philippines; and Abdullah Anshori, who served as the head of the Jemaah Islamiyah organisation in Indonesia, which came to be known as Mantiqi II.

“The US government possesses sufficient credible evidence that the … individuals designated today act on behalf of Jemaah Islamiyah through acts of terrorism and support for terrorism,” the department said in a statement.

The US is joining with Australia and other countries to ask the United Nations to include the four people on its asset-blocking list, the department said.

“Members of Jemaah Islamiyah have been trained, funded and directed by al-Qaida to pursue a like-minded terrorist agenda,” said Pat O’Brien, the treasury’s assistant secretary for terrorist financing and financial crime.

The US designated Jemaah Islamiyah a global terrorist organisation in 2002.

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