- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 19, 2001

Sentiment has emerged in Congress for a financial assault on Sudan, the nation that sheltered prime terrorist suspect Osama bin Laden from 1991 until 1996.
"Sudan is a known sponsor of terrorism. One way to get at them is to cut off their money," said Jeff Emerson, spokesman for Rep. Spencer Bachus, Alabama Republican, who is sponsoring legislation to restrict Sudan's ability to raise capital in U.S. markets.
[In Khartoum, the Sudanese capital, Foreign Minister Mustafa Osman Taha said yesterday that CIA and FBI representatives have been operating in the country as part of coordinated effort between the two countries to combat terrorism, United Press International reported.
[Mr. Taha expressed satisfaction that U.S. officials did not name Sudan as a possible target after the terrorist attacks last week in the United States last week.
Such cooperation, if true, would have followed a "palace coup" in which staunch Islamist Hassan Turabi was ousted by President Omar Hassan Bashir]
State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said U.S. Secretary of State Colin L. Powell had spoken with Mr. Taha on Monday afternoon and received some indications the Sudanese would be willing to assist in Washington's new international coalition against terrorism.
A vast reserve of oil is being developed in southern Sudan by Canadian, Chinese and Malaysian oil companies, whose stock trades in U.S. financial markets.
Critics of the government, which has been on the U.S. terrorism list since 1993, charge that oil profits are plowed back into its war on the non-Muslim south and to fund international terrorism.
In 1998, President Clinton bombed a Khartoum pharmaceutical factory, believing erroneously that it was a poison gas factory connected to bin Laden.
The Sudanese government maintains there are no groups operating in Sudan that were connected to last week's attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.
With or without a bin Laden connection, human rights groups and terrorism experts demanded yesterday that Sudan be punished for human rights abuses and continued tolerance of slavery.
"Connect the dots. Anyone who buys stock in one of these companies" is indirectly supporting slavery, the genocide of the Sudanese people and international terrorism like the attack on the United States last week, said Nina Shea, of Freedom House and the Sudan Coalition.
The coalition represents about 20 million Americans in dozens of human rights, labor, Christian and Jewish groups. She said Muslim groups have been invited to join, but until now, none has.
Mrs. Shea, who has spent years documenting the Muslim "jihad" on Christians and animists in southern Sudan, said more than 2 million people have been killed by the fundamentalist Muslim government, and hundreds of thousands more taken into slavery.
"The Khartoum regime supports a wide variety of international terrorist groups," said Jim Phillips, terrorism expert at the Heritage Foundation. "Sudan provides sanctuary, logistical support, training facilities, and travel documents to terrorists who have murdered Americans."
Egypt's al-Gama and Islamic Jihad, Hamas, Palestine Islamic Jihad, and bin Laden's al-Qaeda are all thought to be operating in Sudan, Mr. Phillips said.
He said Sudan was behind the failed 1995 assassination attempt on Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Sheik Omar Abdul Rahman, the radical Egyptian cleric serving a life sentence for his role in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, came to the United States from Sudan.
A Sudanese diplomat was expelled from the United States in 1996 after his involvement in the earlier World Trade Center bombing was uncovered.
U.S. businesses are banned from investing in Sudan, which has been under economic sanctions since 1996, after the United States implicated Sudan in 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
Canada's Talisman Energy and China's National Petroleum have raised millions of dollars from U.S. investors, indirectly subsidizing Sudan's domestic and international terror.
In June, the House passed the Sudan Peace Act 422-2, which would force foreign companies raising U.S. capital for investment in Sudan to make that information public so investors could chose whether to invest.
In July, the Senate passed a less restrictive version of the bill. In the wake of last week's attacks the conference to iron out the differences has been postponed.
The Bush administration, which has designated Sudan as a top foreign policy priority and assigned former Sen. John Danforth, Missouri Republican, as its special envoy, is expected to sign the legislation as soon as it reaches the White House.

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