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US Treasury Targets Syria-Based al-Qaida in Iraq Leader

The U.S. Treasury Department is putting tight financial restrictions on the Syria-based leader of a group linked to al-Qaida, accused of helping supply terrorists in Iraq.

The Treasury announced Thursday it is freezing all assets held by Abu Khalaf under U.S. jurisdiction, and is prohibiting American citizens from doing business with him.

According to the department, Khalaf is a senior leader of al-Qaida in Iraq's "facilitation network," which controls the flow of resources -- including weapons, money and militants -- from Syria into Iraq.

A Treasury official, Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Stuart Levey, said the department will continue to target al-Qaida-linked terrorists who "threaten the safety of Coalition Forces and the stability of Iraq."

The Treasury Department has the authority to impose financial sanctions on foreign businesses and people considered a threat to U.S. national security and foreign policy goals.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.