WASHINGTON – The Bush administration moved Friday to freeze the finances of Muhammad Yunis al-Ahmad (search), who is on a list of the most-wanted supporters of insurgent groups in Iraq.
The Treasury Department's action means any bank accounts or financial assets belonging to him that are found in this country will be blocked. The government also is asking the United Nation's member countries to freeze al-Ahmad's assets.
It's the latest effort by the administration to try to make it harder for insurgent groups in Iraq to get financial support.
The department said al-Ahmad is currently a "financial facilitator" and "operational leader" of the New Regional Command of the New Baath Party (search). With the ouster of former Iraqi leader, Saddam Hussein, the old Baath Party was dissolved and another formed under new leadership.
"The Iraqi government has charged al-Ahmad with providing funding, leadership and support to several insurgent groups conducting attacks against the Iraqi people, the interim Iraqi government, Iraqi National Guard, the Iraqi police and coalition forces," the department said in a release.
Al-Ahmad is on a list, released earlier this year by the U.S. Central Command, of the most-wanted supporters of insurgent groups in Iraq. A $1 million reward has been offered for information leading to his capture.
The department said al-Ahmad was a "high-ranking" member of the Saddam's old Baath Party in Iraq and officials believe he has fled to Syria.
Al-Ahmad is a key figure in the reconstituted Baath party, the government alleged. It said al-Ahmad is a deputy to Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri (search), the leader of the New Baath Party.
Al-Douri, a member of Saddam's inner circle who is already on the government's terror-financing blocking list, is also leader of the New Regional Command.