Monday, April 25, 2005

United States Treasury Department, Syria, and United Nations Counter Terrorism Financing Convention

Syria has acceded to the United Nations Convention for the Suppression of Terrorism Financing, which requires states to make the financing of terrorism a criminal offence under domestic laws and confiscate assets that are used for terrorist purposes and used by terrorist. This action by Syria is another empty gesture to defuse international pressure resulting from the War on Terrorism and assassination of former Lebanon Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

Syria has stated countless times that there are no al-Qaeda operatives in Syria. Syria also has stated countless times that they do not hold any funds and provide any funds to al-Qaeda. However, Syria does hold funds and provide funds to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and countless terrorist in Iraq, Hezbollah, and Hamas. At the same time, Syria Foreign Minister Farouq Shara considers al-Qeada, Hezbollah, Hamas, and other designated terrorist and terrorist groups as freedom fighters. Syria has and is providing minor intelligence and interrogation assistance in dealing with al-Qaeda. The United States Treasury Department has designated the Commercial Bank of Syria as a terrorist financier which also has been implicated in laundering money for Saddam Hussein as part of the Oil for Food Scandal. Syria in relation to combating and assisting the War on Terrorism has been ambiguous.

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