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US Treasury Blocks Over $21 Million in Assets Due to Terrorism Sanctions

The United States has blocked more than $21 million in US-based assets due to terrorism sanctions.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The United States has blocked more than $21 million in US-based assets belonging to international terrorist organizations, the US Treasury said in an annual sanctions report on Wednesday.

“Implementation of programs targeting international terrorist organizations has resulted in the blocking in the United States of more than $21 million in which there exists an interest of an international terrorist organization or other related designated party,” the US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) said.

The sanctions target 893 individuals and 60 organizations identified as terrorists.

Among the top organizations with assets seized in the United States as of December 31, 2014 are al-Qaeda ($12.8 million), Hamas ($1.2 million) and Hezbollah ($7.1 million).

The blocked assets may be relatively small compared to the total assets the terrorist organizations have, but sanctions nevertheless remain a powerful tool against them, according to OFAC.

The effects of sanctions “reach far beyond the blocking of terrorist assets,” OFAC said, because the terrorist designation identifies individuals and organization to international partners and foreign banks, many of which deny them financial access.

US sanctions on terrorists block bank accounts and property as well as other assets in the United States or in possession or control by a US person.

Also OFAC announced that the United States has blocked nearly $2.4 billion in assets belonging to four designated state sponsors of terrorism.

“Approximately $2.4 billion in assets relating to four designated state sponsors of terrorism have been identified by OFAC as located within the United States,” OFAC said in the report.

Cuba, Iran, Sudan and Syria are designated by the United States as state sponsors of terrorism.

Iran tops the list with almost $2 billion in assets blocked in the United States, followed by Cuba at $270 million, Syria at $78 million and Sudan with $28 million.

Blocked assets include property, including diplomatic facilities, financial assets and other tangible and non-tangible assets in the United States.

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