A lawyer from the United States with expertise in identifying terrorists and freezing their assets has been named to a team tracking sanctions against Al-Qaida and the Taliban by the United Nations Security Council.
John E. Smith, a trial attorney for the US Department of Justice, was appointed by Secretary-General Kofi Annan as a replacement for Gary J. Peters to the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team, a subsidiary body of the Council's 1267 Committee, so named for the original 1998 resolution that imposed the measures and established the Committee.
The sanctions, later tightened through subsequent Council resolutions, require countries to freeze financial resources - including funds derived or generated by any undertaking owned or controlled by the Taliban - and to ensure that they are not used by the group.
States are also obliged to freeze funds and other financial assets of Usama bin Laden and his associates in the Al-Qaida organization, and to prevent their entry or transit through the State's territory. In addition, nations must prevent the supply, sale and transfer of all arms and materiel - along with any form of military training - to the named individuals and entities.
Among its tasks, the Monitoring Team periodically reports to the Council on the implementation of the sanctions regime, analyzes reports submitted by Member States and coordinates with the Council's Counter-terrorism Committee (CTC).
In its first report last month the Monitoring Team said that despite international efforts, the threat from Al-Qaida-related terrorism remained as great as ever but the nature of that threat has changed.
In related news, three more entries have been added to the Committee's roster of individuals and entities associated with Al-Qaida or the Taliban.
A Saudi national, Suliman Al-Buthe, the Comoros-based Al-Haramain Foundation and the US-based Al-Haramain Foundation, which has addresses in Oregon and Missouri, were added to the Al-Qaida section of the list.