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December 5, 2001
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Bush freezes assets of institution funding Hamas

T V Parasuram in Washington

United States President George W Bush on Tuesday announced the freezing of the US assets of a Texas-based Islamic foundation and two other groups believed to be leading fund-raisers for radical Palestinian outfit Hamas.

Called the Holy Land Foundation, the Texas-based group raised $13 million last year, Bush said at the White House, charging that the group used charitable acts as a front to finance terrorist activity.

"The message is this," the president said, "those who do business with terror will do no business with the United States, or anywhere else the United States can reach."

Police and government agents, including the FBI, were at the foundation's office in Richardson. In a document posted on the front door of the office, the foundation denied it supports any terrorist activity and called the government's action a 'smear campaign'.

An FBI spokeswoman at the scene said the agency would be providing assistance to the treasury department's office of Foreign Assets Control in executing what she described as a 'blocking order'.

In a mission statement on its web site, the foundation said it works for finding 'solutions for human suffering through humanitarian programmes that impact the lives of the disadvantaged, disinherited and displaced peoples suffering from man-made and natural disasters'.

The statement said the foundation's area of focus is 'Palestinian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine'.

Two other groups targeted, which are not believed to have any assets in the US, are the Aqsa Bank in the West Bank and the Jordan-based Beit El-Mal Holdings Company.

RELATED REPORT:
Help stop violence: Palestinian envoy tells India

America's War Against Terrorism: Complete Coverage

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