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20 February 2003

Ansar al-Islam Designated as Terrorist Group

(U.S. says group has links to al-Qaida and Usama bin Laden) (210)

Following is a statement February 20 from State Department spokesman
Richard Boucher announcing the designation of Ansar al-Islam as a
terrorist group:

(begin text)

U.S. Department of State
Office of the Spokesman
February 20, 2003

Press Statement by Richard Boucher, Spokesman

Designation of Ansar Al-Islam

The terrorist group Ansar al-Islam has been designated under Executive
Order 13224, effective today. That Executive Order blocks the assets
of organizations and individuals linked to terrorism. Today's addition
appears on the website of the Department of the Treasury's Office of
Foreign Assets Control.

The United States also today asked the U.N. 1267 Sanctions Committee
to add Ansar al-Islam's name to its consolidated list of entities and
individuals associated with al-Qaida, the Taliban, or Usama bin Laden
whose assets U.N. Member States are obligated to freeze under UN
Security Council resolutions 1267, 1390, and 1455.

Ansar al-Islam, which operates in northeastern Iraq, has close links
to and support from al-Qaida. Al-Qaida and Usama Bin Laden
participated in the formation and funding of the group, which has
provided safehaven to al-Qaida in northeastern Iraq.

(end text)

(Distributed by the Office of International Information Programs, U.S.
Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)