UN adds radical cleric al-Awlaki to terror list

The Miami Herald reports that the United Nations has added U.S.-born radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki to its terrorist list, requiring member countries to freeze his assets and ban his travel.

The action follows a similar move by the U.S. Treasury Department last week, and underscores the growing threat officials believe al-Awlaki represents as a terror recruiter and planner.

Based in Yemen, al-Awlaki has taken on a greater role with al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, leading to his placement earlier this year on a secret U.S. government list of terror targets to be captured or killed, according to U.S. officials.

In announcing the U.N. sanctions, the State Department said the crackdown will help degrade AQAP’s ability to launch attacks.

The move, said Daniel Benjamin, State Department coordinator for counterterrorism, “is in direct response to the operational role he plays in AQAP, and most importantly because of the integral part he played in planning AQAP’s attempted destruction of Northwest Airlines flight 253 over the United States.”

Meantime, a senior US lawmaker urged the United States to add Eritrea to a terrorism blacklist over its support for an Al-Qaeda-linked group tied to last week’s deadly bombings in Uganda.

Representative Ed Royce, the top Republican on a House subcommittee on terrorism, nonproliferation and trade, urged US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a letter to designate Eritrea a state sponsor of terrorism.

The designation — currently only applied to Cuba, Iran, Sudan and Syria — carries a range of economic and diplomatic sanctions.

The California lawmaker said “Eritrea’s support for Shebab is well documented” and that the Uganda attacks underscored “the group’s threat to the region, continent and even the United States.”

(h/t Georgetown SLB)

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