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US freezes assets of three men linked to Taliban, militants

U.S. Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David Cohen talks to the media during a press conference in Rome, Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

WASHINGTON: The U.S. Treasury said on Wednesday it had frozen the assets of three Pakistani-based individuals suspected of backing the Taliban and other militant organizations in Pakistan and Afghanistan, including one man linked to a failed attack in New York.

Treasury said it froze all U.S. assets and prohibited any U.S. individuals from doing business with Maulawi Adam Khan Achekzai, Aamir Ali Chaudhry and Qari Ayyub Bashir.

Adam and Chaudhry were involved in the production of bombs for the Taliban and the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), the Pakistan Taliban, Treasury said in a statement. Bashir coordinated financial support for the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) in Afghanistan and Pakistan, it said.

"As these designations demonstrate, we will continue to work to dismantle the terrorist support networks operating in Afghanistan and Pakistan, paying special attention to those involved in the manufacture of IEDs (improvised explosive devices)," said David Cohen, U.S. undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence.

Treasury said Chaudhry was an electronics and explosives expert with the TTP who was also suspected of providing advice on what type of fertilizer to use in the failed May 2010 attempt to explode a bomb in New York's Time Square.

Adam was a key figure for the Taliban, responsible for the production of improvised explosives and suicide vests, who had trained around 150 other bomb makers to support the Islamic group's attacks, it said.

Bashir, whom Treasury named as head of finance for the IMU, was suspected of marshalling funds from sources in Turkey and Europe to finance IMU attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan, as well as recruiting fighters at his school in Pakistan.

 

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