Hamas, Hezbollah, other Palestinian groups cited for terrorism by the State Department

Friday, October 5th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The network headed by Osama bin Laden and several Palestinian groups were cited by the State Department Friday as terrorist organizations.

The list is compiled every two years. Administration officials said the new one published Friday was virtually unchanged from the one issued in 1999.

Under a 1996 law, U.S. citizens are prohibited from providing listed organizations with assistance. Banks and other American financial institutions must freeze their assets.

Al-Qaida, which bin Laden operates from his sanctuary in Afghanistan, is on the list, which appeared in the Federal Register. The Bush administration considers al-Qaida the prime suspect in the terrorist attacks Sept. 11 in New York and Washington.

Among the Palestinian groups listed were Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. Hezbollah, which wages guerrilla war against Israel from Lebanon and is known also as The Party of God, is also on the list.

Among the 22 groups are Kahane Chai, or Kach, a militant Jewish group, and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, also known as FARC.

President Bush on Sept. 24 issued an order freezing the assets of 11 organizations including al-Qaida as part of the U.S. counterterrorism campaign.

The Palestinian groups were not included among those whose assets were frozen. This raised questions whether Hamas and the others were being spared criticism.

Officials responded that the groups had been listed already by the department and similar curbs on their finances already applied.

Dropped from the list were the Japanese Red Army and Tupac Amaru, a Peruvian group.

Two others were added to the list during the year. Their names do not appear in the Register.

One is AUC, formerly known as the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia, a right-wing paramilitary group.

The other is the Real IRA, an offshoot of the Irish Republican Army. It was implicated in the bombing of Omagh in Northern Ireland in 1998.