WASHINGTON – The Bush administration moved Monday to financially incapacitate a man who allegedly worked with Osama bin Laden (search) and others to provide support to terror networks in Albania.
The Treasury Department (search) ordered U.S. banks to freeze any bank accounts or other financial assets found in this country belonging to Abdul Latif Saleh, who holds Jordanian and Albanian citizenship. The order also prohibits Americans from doing business with him.
The department alleged that bin Laden provided Saleh with $600,000 to encourage the creation of "extremist groups" in Albania. Saleh also is believed to be closely associated with groups in Albania with links to the Egyptian Islamic Jihad (search), a terror group connected to al-Qaida (search), the department said.
Saleh founded an Albanian jihadist group that has been bankrolled by the Al Haramain Foundation, an Islamic charity with alleged links to al-Qaida, the Treasury Department said.
"The mission of the Albanian jihadist group has been to destabilize the internal situation in Albania by fomenting conflict among the different religious groups in the country," the department said in a statement. "Al Haramain recruited members from this organization, which Saleh directly assisted in vetting."
Saleh also is believed to be associated with Yasin Qadi, a Saudi businessman, that the United States designated as a global terrorist in October 2001. The department said Qadi was an active fund-raiser for Saleh's jihadist group.
"Saleh and Qadi had entered into several business partnerships with one another, including a sugar importing business, a medical enterprise and a construction business," the department said. "Saleh served as the general manager of all of Qadi's businesses in Albania and reportedly holds 10 percent of the Qadi Group's investments in Albania," Treasury said.
The department said that Saleh was expelled from Albania and that his last known residence was in the United Arab Emirates.