Treasury Secretary Freezes More Assets

The Treasury Department has frozen the assets of 39 more terror-related organizations, including charities, businesses and individuals related to or conducting terror activities, officials announced Friday.

Of the 39 names, 18 are individuals named on the Justice Department's 22 most wanted terrorists list. 

"We're determined to deny terrorists the resources to carry out their evil," said Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill. 

The remaining four terrorists on the Justice Department's list have already had their accounts frozen. 

Treasury officials would not say what measures they were taking to freeze the accounts because they didn't want to throw their hand to the terrorists. One official said that the measures were effectively further "marginalizing" the terrorists and making it more difficult to conduct their activities.

Officials said they are also encouraged by the cooperation they have received from other countries.

"We've seen an unprecedented degree of cooperation among our allies, said John Taylor,  Treasury Under Secretary for International Affairs.  He said the G-7 nations — the United States, Japan, Germany, France, Britain, Italy and Canada — have already taken measures to block the accounts listed Friday and 110 countries have indicated their support for such actions.

"Sixty-six (nations) have blocking orders in force and will be adding these names in the coming days," he said.

The new list follows up a Sept. 24 order by President Bush authorizing a freeze on the assets of 27 people and organizations suspected of conducting or financing terrorist activities. That list included 12 individuals counting Usama bin Laden; 11 organizations, including bin Laden's Al Qaeda network; three charities; and one business.

The freeze resulted in the blocking of $24 million in assets, including nearly $4 million in the United States. The rest was frozen by other countries.

All of the frozen assets were connected to Saudi exile bin Laden, Al Qaeda or Afghanistan's ruling Taliban militia, a Treasury official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Officials said that the Treasury Department task force is meeting weekly to go over blocking orders and that more names will be added in the coming weeks and months.

The Financial Action Task Force, a group of nations focused on money laundering, will also hold a special meeting in Washington on Oct. 29 and 30 to develop new policies to combat terrorist financing.  

Congress too is adopting new measures. Policies to combat money laundering were included in the anti-terror legislation adopted by the Seante late Thursday evening. The House Financial Services Committee also passed legislation to curb money laundering which the House will take up shortly.

"This list will continue to grow as we share information between nations and develop an increasingly clear understanding of the complex network of terrorist financing," O'Neill said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.