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UN Puts Al-Zarqawi Network In Iraq On Terror List

20 October 2004 -- A United Nations committee monitoring sanctions against Al-Qaeda has added a militant group allegedly controlled by Jordanian Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi.

Under the UN sanctions, nations are obligated to prevent travel, confiscate weapons, and freeze financial assets of the more than 300 groups, charities, and individuals on the list. Russia is pressing to expand the roster to other terrorist networks around the world.

The U.S. government accuses al-Zarqawi of being the mastermind of many bomb attacks in Iraq.

The UN yesterday added the Tawhid and Jihad group, which claimed responsibility for two explosions that killed five people, including three Americans inside Baghdad's fortified Green Zone on 14 October.

The move comes days after the United States formally listed the Tawhid and Jihad group as a terrorist organization.

Meanwhile, the aid group CARE International says it has suspended its operations in Iraq following the kidnapping of the head of its Baghdad office.

Robert Glasser, the chief of CARE Australia, which is coordinating the agency's operations in Iraq, said today that none of the organization's staff were now working in Iraq following Margaret Hassan's kidnapping.

Al-Jazeera television broadcast a brief video showing Hassan after her abduction in the Iraqi capital on 19 October.

Al-Jazeera said an unnamed Iraqi armed group had claimed responsibility for capturing Hassan, who holds Iraqi, British, and Irish citizenships and has lived in Iraq for the past 30 years.

The station said the group had made no demands.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair condemned Hassan's abduction and pledged Britain would work to secure her release.

Care International is one of the world's largest independent relief and development organizations, operating in more than 70 countries worldwide.

In other Iraq news, a U.S. military court in the Iraqi capital Baghdad is due today to open the court-martial trial of an American military policeman accused of abusing prisoners at the Abu Ghurayb prison.

A lawyer for the accused soldier, Staff Sergeant Ivan Frederick, has said his client will plead guilty to four charges -- assault, maltreating a detainee, committing an indecent act, and dereliction of duty.

Under a plea-bargain deal, reports say eight other charges against Frederick will be dropped.

The soldier's lawyer, Gary Myers, did not say what sentence Frederick was expected to receive as part of the plea bargain.

Abuse by U.S. soldiers of detainees at Abu Ghurayb came to light in April when photographs were published of naked, hooded prisoners being sexually humiliated and threatened with dogs.


For the latest news on Iraq, see RFE/RL's webpage on "The New Iraq".