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    US AUTHORITIES BLOCKED BANK ACCOUNTS OF ISLAMIC ORGANIZATION THAT FINANCED CHECHEN TERRORISTS

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    WASHINGTON, February 20 (RIA Novosti) - The US Treasury Department has blocked the bank accounts of the branch of the Islamic charity organization Islamic Foundation Al-Haramain in Ashland (the State of Oregon) accusing it of transferring $131,000 to militants in Chechnya. The Friday issue of the Washington Post writes about it referring to the materials of the Prosecutor's Office submitted to the court of Oregon.

    The FBI and the Tax Service of the USA made a search in the branch of the Ashland-based branch of the Foundation, which is the head representation office of this organization on the territory of the USA.

    As the paper writes, the US law enforcement bodies are probing into the activity of one of the heads of the Oregon-based branch of the Foundation - Soliman Al But'he, a native of Saudi Arabia.

    According to the Prosecutor's office, Al But'he was to deliver from the USA to Saudi Arabia $131,000 transferred by somebody from London and converted into international cheques. In violation of the US laws the US authorities were not notified about this operation.

    This money was intended for the Islamic militants in Chechnya, the paper writes referring to the court's documents.

    The headquarters of the Islamic Foundation Al-Haramain is based in Saudi Arabia. The USA has been probing into the activities of this organization for two years already, suspecting it of financing militants from Al Qaeda and providing supplies to them.

    In 2002 the branches of the Foundation in Bosnia and Somalia were closed, and in December of 2003 its branches were closed in Indonesia, Kenya, Tanzania and Pakistan.

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