NEWS

Treasury Freezes Bin Laden's Son's Assets

By Matthew Harwood

The U.S. Treasury Department last Friday froze the assets of Osama Bin Laden's son as well as three other al Qaeda terrorists thought to have relations with Iran.

Agence France Press has the details:

"Osama bin Laden's son Sa'ad, along with Mustafa Hamid, Muhammad Rab'a al-Sayid al-Bahtiyti and Ali Saleh Husain, are alleged to have worked for Al Qaeda in Iran, and some have ties to the Iranian government, said the department in a statement.

The designations, which prohibit transactions between the group and US citizens, were put in place to give Iran 'public accounting of how it is meeting its international obligations to constrain Al Qaeda,' according to Stuart Levey, the US Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence."

The four men were detained by Iran in 2003, although intelligence officials say Sa'ad may no longer be in Iranian custody as of September 2008. He is currently believed to be in Pakistan.

Sa'ad Bin Laden, one of Osama's possible 19 children, was born in 1982. The Treasury statement, according to the Associated Press, alleges Sa'ad helped his father get family members out of Afghanistan and into Iran in 2001.

The decision to freeze the four men's assets came on the final business day of former President George W. Bush's administration. The power to freeze the assets comes from an executive order signed two weeks after 9-11 by President Bush, which gave the U.S. the authority to damage the financial networks used by terrorists to carry out their activities.

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