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Homeland Security

25 January 2005

Syrian National Designated by U.S. as Terrorist Financier

Action aims to stop cash flows to Iraq insurgents, al-Qaida

The U.S. Department of the Treasury has identified Syrian national Sulayman Khalid Darwish as a terrorist financier who has provided support to the Zarqawi and al-Qaida networks in Iraq.

In a January 25 news release, Treasury said the United States would ask the United Nations to add Darwish's name to the U.N. consolidated list of terrorists tied to al-Qaida, Osama bin Laden and the Taliban.

Inclusion of an individual or a group on the U.N. list obliges all member countries to freeze the assets and prevent the travel of the listed individual and to block the sale of arms and military equipment to this individual or group.

The United States has designated 397 individuals and entities as terrorists or terrorist facilitators since September 2001.  The global community has frozen over $147 million in terrorist-related assets, Treasury said.

Following is the text of the release:

(begin text)

U.S. Department of the Treasury

Office of Public Affairs

January 25, 2005

Treasury Designates Individual Financially Fueling Iraqi Insurgency, al Qaida

The U.S. Department of the Treasury today took action against an individual to help stem cash flows to the Iraqi insurgency and al Qaida.  Sulayman Khalid Darwish, who is located in Syria, was designated under Executive Order 13224 for providing financial and material support to the al-Zarqawi Network and al Qaida.

"This terrorist financier is helping support Zarqawi, who has launched violent acts against our troops, coalition partners and the Iraqi people," said Treasury Secretary John W. Snow.  "Identifying financial operatives and choking off the flow of blood money moves us closer to our ultimate goal of fracturing the financial backbone of the Iraqi insurgency and al Qaida."

The U.S. is submitting Darwish to the United Nations 1267 Committee, which will consider adding him to the consolidated list of terrorists tied to al Qaida, Usama bin Laden and the Taliban.

The United States has now designated 397 individuals and entities as terrorists, their financiers or facilitators since September 2001.  In addition, the global community has frozen over $147 million in terrorist-related assets.

Zarqawi was named a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) on September 23, 2003.  The Zarqawi Network, also know as Jama'at al Tawhid wal Jihad and Tanzim Qa'idat al-Jihad fi Bilad al-Rafidayn, was designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) and a SDGT on October 15, 2004.

According to information available to the U.S. Government, Darwish is a member of the Advisory (Shura) Council of the Zarqawi organization and served as one of Zarqawi's operatives.  Moreover, Darwish, who was also involved in fundraising and recruiting for the organization, is a close associate of Zarqawi and one of the most prominent members of the Zarqawi Network in Syria.

While in Afghanistan, Darwish received training -- on Zarqawi's orders -- in the following areas: weapons, topography, artillery training, electronics training, explosives production and the use of explosives.  Darwish also received training in Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey and Lebanon in document forging and is considered an expert in preparing forged documents for the Zarqawi Network.

Darwish handles mostly financial issues for Zarqawi, collecting, and distributing funds for him.  Specifically, Darwish sent donations of $10,000-$12,000 to Zarqawi in Iraq every 20-25 days.  Darwish sent the money into Iraq through suicide attack volunteers who were entering the country.

Darwish also was essential to recruiting and dispatching terrorist operatives, both for the planned attacks in Jordan and for operations elsewhere, particularly Iraq.  For example, Darwish contacted jihadists who had been in Afghanistan and who were, by 2004, scattered in different countries; he recruited among these jihadists for fighters to join Zarqawi in Iraq.

In addition, Darwish was assigned by Zarqawi to train members of Asbat al-Ansar in preparing forged documents; Darwish also brought $10,000 for Abu Muhjin, the leader of Asbat al-Ansar, from Zarqawi. Asbat al-Ansar was designated a SDGT on September 24, 2001 and as a FTO on March 27, 2002.

Identifying Information

SULAYMAN KHALID DARWISH

AKA: Abu Al-Ghadiya

DOB: 1976

DOB: Circa 1974

POB: Outside Damascus, Syria

Nationality: Syrian

Passport No.: Syrian 3936712

Passport No.: Syrian 11012

Address: Syria

Sulayman Khalid Darwish was designated today pursuant to Executive Order 13224 chiefly pursuant to paragraphs (d)(i) and (d)(ii) based on a determination that he assists in, sponsors or provides financial, material, or technological support for, or financial or other services to or in support of, or is otherwise associated with, persons listed as subject to E.O. 13224.  This individual also meets the standard for inclusion in the UN 1267 Sanctions Committee's consolidated list because of the support provided to UBL, al Qaida or the Taliban.

Inclusion on the 1267 Committee's list triggers international obligations on all member countries, requiring them to freeze the assets and prevent the travel of listed individuals and to block the sale of arms and military equipment.  Publicly identifying these supporters of terrorism is a critical part of the international campaign to counter terrorism.  Additionally, other organizations and individuals are put on notice that they are prohibited from doing business with them.

Blocking actions are critical to combating the financing of terrorism.  When an action is put into place, any assets existing in the formal financial system at the time of the order are to be frozen.  Blocking actions serve additional functions as well, acting as a deterrent for non-designated parties who might otherwise be willing to finance terrorist activity; exposing terrorist financing "money trails" that may generate leads to previously unknown terrorist cells and financiers, disrupting terrorist financing networks by encouraging designated terrorist supporters to disassociate themselves from terrorist activity and renounce their affiliation with terrorist groups; terminating terrorist cash flows by shutting down the pipelines used to move terrorist-related assets; forcing terrorists to use alternative, more costly and higher-risk means of financing their activities; and engendering international cooperation and compliance with obligations under UN Security Council Resolutions.

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



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