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U.S. Freezes Iraqi Group's Assets

Since April of last year, members of the Iraq-based insurgent group Jaysh Rijal al-Tariq al-Naqshabandi, or JRTN, have been conducting violent attacks against U.S. Forces in Iraq.

One of JRTN's goals is to overthrow the Government of Iraq and reinstate the rule of former dictator Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath Party. To this end, the JRTN leadership has planned a series of attacks against U.S. and Iraqi Security forces.

According to the U.S. Department of the Treasury, in December of 2008, a JRTN member operating in the Kirkuk area purchased "3 Katyusha rockets and an undetermined number of magnetic improvised explosive devices that were intended to be used in attacks against Kirkuk Regional Air Base, Iraqi police or Iraqi Government officials." U.S. forces stationed in the vicinity of Baghdad International Airport were also targeted.

Over the course of last year, the JRTN conducted a number of violent operations. In mid summer, the group's operatives used improvised bombs to attack U.S. Forces near an Iraqi police station in Salah ad Din Governorate, and a month later, used the same tactic in Kirkuk. In August, members of the JRTN used armor-penetrating grenades to attack a U.S. Forces convoy in Hawijah. Shortly thereafter, in 2 separate attacks, a JRTN cell operating in Kirkuk fired rockets at the Kirkuk Regional Air Base.

Judging Jaysh Rijal al-Tariq al-Naqshabandi to be a threat to the peace and stabilization efforts in Iraq, the U.S. Department of Treasury has frozen any assets the JRTN may have under U.S. jurisdiction and prohibited any U.S. persons or businesses to conduct financial or commercial transactions with this insurgent group.

"Today's designation is an important step in protecting U.S. Forces-Iraq troops, Iraqi Security Forces, and innocent Iraqis from insurgent groups like JRTN that use violence to undermine Iraq's progress toward a more democratic and prosperous future,"‪ said Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Stuart Levey.

In order to keep operating, violent insurgent groups such as the Jaysh Rijal al-Tariq al-Naqshabandi, must raise funding from sympathetic donors. U.S. sanctions make such money raising efforts more difficult.