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U.S. Freezes Accounts Of Large Saudi Charity

The Treasury Department ordered banks yesterday to freeze the accounts of the Oregon and Missouri branches of a large Saudi charity that U.S. officials say has been used to finance the al Qaeda terrorist network around the world. FBI and Internal Revenue Service agents searched a home in Ashland, Ore., that is the U.S. headquarters for the charity, the al-Haramain Islamic Foundation. The search is part of an investigation into allegations that the Oregon branch was involved in money laundering and income tax and currency-reporting violations, Treasury officials said. Over the past two years, U.S. and Saudi authorities have intensified a joint crackdown on al-Haramain offices around the globe after concluding that they had funneled money, personnel and equipment to al Qaeda. Branches in Bosnia and Somalia were shuttered in 2002, and last December others were closed in Indonesia, Kenya, Tanzania and Pakistan. Full Story

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