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US Treasury Effort  Prevented Terrorism - 2002-09-11

The U.S. Treasury Department says its year-long financial war on terrorism has helped stop terrorist attacks before they could take place.

Treasury officials released a new report Tuesday on their efforts to shut off the worldwide financial assets of terrorist networks.

The report says since last September 11, more than $112 million in terrorist assets have been frozen in U.S. and overseas banks.

Treasury agents shut down the al-Barakaat financial network, which funneled millions of dollars to the al-Qaida terrorist network.

They froze bank accounts of the Texas-based Holy Land Foundation, a Palestinian charity that also allegedly raised money for Hamas. The Palestinian militant group is responsible anti-Israeli suicide bombings.

The report says international cooperation has helped force terrorist groups into riskier and more open methods of finding funds.

The Treasury Department concedes despite its successes, more work needs to be done.

The report comes a week after the United Nations said the U.S. effort to cut off terrorist financing is slipping and that Osama bin Laden still has millions of dollars at his disposal.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill has called that report incomplete, saying U.N. officials do not have all the facts.