- The Washington Times - Friday, February 8, 2002

Saudi Arabia freezes terrorist bank accounts

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia announced it has frozen four bank accounts linked to suspected terrorists, acknowledging for the first time since September 11 it has taken specific financial measures against extremists.

The assets freeze comes amid criticism from the United States and some Western allies that the kingdom has not done enough to crack down on terrorists inside its borders.

An official with Saudi Arabia's central bank said the accounts seized were linked to terrorists on a U.N. list calling for a global assets freeze, the official Saudi Press Agency reported Wednesday. The U.N. list largely follows a list from the United States pressing for assets freezes. The official did not identify the account holders or give other details.

Argentine Congress to impeach court

BUENOS AIRES An Argentine congressional committee yesterday gave its approval for impeachment proceedings against the Supreme Court, whose nine members face about 40 accusations of misuse of office.

The accusations cover rulings, notably over privatization processes, an arms-sales scandal and telephone taps, which were widely perceived as favorable to controversial former President Carlos Menem, who appointed the judges.

Yesterday's decision came exactly one week after the court infuriated the government of President Eduardo Duhalde by ordering the lifting of banking restrictions imposed to avert a flight of capital.

Bin Laden kin denies millions funded terror

PARIS Osama bin Laden's half-brother denied in an interview published yesterday that his family's inheritance had funded terror attacks and claimed that the Islamic radical's war chest had been filled by foreign governments.

Yeslam Binladin, a Swiss-based businessman who changed the spelling of his surname, said that none of the money used by his brother's al Qaeda network, which has been blamed for the September 11 attacks, came from the family.

Asked where his brother could have received money if not from his father's legacy as Saudi Arabia's most successful building magnate, Mr. Binladin said the funding came from countries funding the anti-Soviet resistance movement in Afghanistan in the 1980s.

Police claim progress in Pearl kidnap case

KARACHI, Pakistan Pakistani police said yesterday they have made "significant progress" in the search for kidnapped American reporter Daniel Pearl, in which a British-born Islamic militant has emerged as a key suspect.

The suspect, Ahmad Omar Saeed Sheik, also known as Sheik Omar Saeed, had been imprisoned in India for kidnapping three British tourists in Kashmir, but was freed two years ago as part of a demand by airplane hijackers.

He remains at large, but police raided houses in the eastern city of Lahore and detained some of his relatives, in a tactic meant to pressure him into surrendering.

Police, who are seeking to crack the case before President Pervez Musharraf visits Washington next week, arrested three men Tuesday in connection with e-mail messages purportedly sent by the kidnappers last week.

Powell says U.S. concerned with Haiti

NASSAU, Bahamas The Bush administration will not drop barriers to the release of hundreds of millions of dollars in international aid to Haiti, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell said yesterday, citing continuing political unrest.

"We do not believe enough has been done yet to move the political process forward to assure ourselves that additional aid will be used in the most effective way at this time," Mr. Powell said during a call to a radio talk show.

Mr. Powell, the first secretary of state to visit this tropical island in 15 years, is attending a meeting on trade and terrorism with Caribbean foreign ministers.

He indicated in the call from his hotel that the U.S. administration still is concerned about the electoral situation in Haiti, which has been mired in crisis since President Jean-Bertrand Aristide's party won 80 percent of seats in parliamentary elections last year that the opposition says were rigged.

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