The United States has added the Al Qaida-aligned Tawhid and Jihad to its list of foreign terrorists, after a year-long campaign of suicide bombings in Iraq.
Led by Abu Mussib Al Zarqawi, the Tawhid and Jihad group is still regarded as the most lethal insurgent force in Iraq. The group has claimed
responsibility for scores of car bombings that have killed more than 1,000
Iraqis in 2003 and 2004.
On Oct. 14, the State Department designated both Tawhid and Jihad as
well as Al Zarqawi as foreign terrorists. The United States has asked the
United Nations to add the group to its list of terrorists aligned with Al
Qaida and subject to international sanctions.
Officials said the U.S. designation would freeze assets of Tawhid as
well as Al Zarqawi. If the U.S. designation is approved by the UN, neither
Al Zarqawi nor his group would be able to receive funds or resources from
member states or their nationals, Middle East Newsline reported.
Officials said the U.S. list of designated Foreign Terrorist
Organizations now numbers 39. They acknowledge that many of those under U.S.
sanctions have little or no assets that could be seized by Washington or its
The State Department said the main goal of Tawhid was to foment civil
war in Iraq. The group has also claimed
responsibility for the execution of seven civilians in 2004.
The United States has offered a $25 million reward for information that
would lead to the capture of Al Zarqawi. On Saturday, U.S. officials denied
a report that Al Zarqawi was captured in the Iraqi city of Faluja, believed
to be the stronghold of Tawhid.
Earlier, Tawhid claimed responsibility for suicide attacks on Oct. 14 in
Baghdad's so-called Green Zone. The bombings in the fortified zone, which
contains the embassies of Britain and the United States, killed up to four
"We hope these designations will continue to draw the attention of
governments across the world and will encourage those governments to take
action, as we have, to isolate these terrorist organizations, to choke off
their sources of financial support, and to prevent their members' movement
across international borders," State Department spokesman Richard Boucher