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Uzbekistan: U.S. Treasury Freezes Bank Accounts Of Terror Suspects

The U.S. Treasury Department has announced that it has frozen bank accounts belonging to members of an alleged terrorist group from Uzbekistan that it says is trying to overthrow the Uzbek government as well as attack U.S. targets.

The Treasury Department said on June 18 that the accounts belong to the leader of the Islamic Jihad Union (IJU), Najmiddin Jalolov, and his deputy, Suhayl Buranov. The group is believed to have ties to Al-Qaeda and has claimed responsibility for bombings and attacks in Uzbekistan in 2004. Last year, German authorities arrested three men suspected of being IJU members and charged them with plotting to carry out attacks on U.S. targets in Germany.

According to a statement by the Treasury Department, 36-year-old Jalolov was a member of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) who left that Al-Qaeda-linked group in late 2001 to form the IJU. Buranov, 24, has a similar history with the IMU before helping found the IJU. Their whereabouts are unclear.

Jalolov "was considered to have been a possible ringleader in the late 2007 IJU plot to conduct terrorist attacks in Germany," the statement said, while Buranov "prepared suicide bombers from among new IJU members."

The United Nations designated the IJU as a terrorist organization in 2005.

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