WASHINGTON – The Bush administration is moving to block the financial assets of 10 people allegedly associated with an Al Qaeda (search)-linked Southeast Asian terror group believed to be behind last year's deadly Bali (search) bombings.
The Treasury Department says they are connected to the Jemaah Islamiyah (search) terror group and thus were being added Friday to the U.S. government's list of specially designated global terrorists.
Imam Samudra, the alleged mastermind of the Bali bombings, was among those put on the list, Treasury officials said.
"These terrorists have worked to achieve Al Qaeda's terrorist goals in Southeast Asia," Treasury Secretary John Snow (search) said in a prepared statement. "They have plotted to assassinate international leaders, they have planned and supported attacks such as the Bali bombing," which killed 202 people, he added.
Treasury's action means that any financial assets found in the United States belonging to the 10 people must be frozen. They also are prohibited from conducting any financial transactions in this country, and Americans are barred from doing business with them. It was not known whether any have bank accounts or other assets in the United States.
The Bush administration also was sending the 10 names to the United Nations for possible inclusion in its blocking list, which is followed by member countries.
"We look forward to working with our allies in the region to dismantle JI (Jemaah Islamiyah) -- to shut down their sources of financing and support and to eliminate the threat they present to the people of Southeast Asia," said Snow, who was in Phuket, Thailand, for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum. A copy of his remarks were distributed in Washington.
Treasury said the other nine people being designated were: Yassin Sywal, described by the United States as an operative who provides support to Jemaah Islamiyah and Al Qaeda in Southeast Asia; Mukhlis Yunos, an explosives expert who the U.S. government says carried out the Dec. 30, 2000, bombings in Manila, known as the Rizal Day bombings; Huda bin Abdul Haq, described as a senior leader of Jemaah Islamiyah with ties to Usama bin Laden and believed to have been involved in the planning of the Bali bombings; Parlindungan Siregar, described as a close associate of an Al Qaeda cell in Spain; Julkipli Salim Y Salamuddin, described as linked to Jemaah Islamiyah; Aris Munandar, believed to provide support to Jemaah Islamiyah; Fathur Rohman Al-Ghozi and Agus Dwikarna, believed to members of Jemaah Islamiyah; and Abdul Hakim Murad, who was convicted by U.S. authorities for his ties to a plot to blow up a dozen U.S. jets in the 1990s.
In addition to these 10 designations, Treasury officials said the U.S. government expects to soon add to the U.S. blocking list another 10 names of people believed to be linked to Jemaah Islamiyah. They already have been added to the United Nations' blacklist, Treasury officials said.
Treasury said it had moved to block the financial assets of Jemaah Islamiyah in October 2002, and in January of this year named two senior leaders of the organization -- Nurjaman Riduan Isamuddin and Mohamad Iqbal Abdurrabman -- to the United States' blocking list.