Washington, 9 October 1997 (RFE/RL) -- U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright acted yesterday to curtail terrorism.
She designated 30 groups as terrorist organizations, freezing their assets in the U.S., making it illegal for the groups to conduct fund-raising activities on American soil, and barring its members from entering the country.
Speaking at the State Department, Albright called terrorism one of America's most important security problems. She said she was acting under the authority of a 1996 law passed by the U.S. Congress to combat terrorism. Albright says U.S. financial institutions are now required by law to freeze the assets of any of the 30 terrorist groups identified or face criminal charges. She says the law also forbids American citizens or anyone within the juridiction of the U.S. from providing monetary or material support to the designated groups.
She says that foreign members of the organizations are also ineligible for visas to the U.S., while those already in the U.S. may be deported. Albright says the review of organizations is "ongoing" and that other groups may be added at any time.
Some of the groups designated as terrorist organizations include the Islamic Resistance Movement HAMAS, the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), and the Japanese Red Army.