The United States Department of the Treasury has taken another step towards cutting the financial network that supplies the international terrorist organization known as al-Qaida. On August 24th, the Treasury Department designated Muhammad Abdallah Hasan Abu-al-Khayr, a citizen of Saudi Arabia, as a "key leader of the terrorist organization's financial network."
The designation was made pursuant to Executive Order 13224 for acting on behalf of Al-Qaida. The order freezes any assets al-Khayr has under U.S. jurisdiction and prohibits U.S. persons from engaging in any transactions with him. The United Nations 1267 Sanctions Committee has taken similar action against al-Khayr.
Al-Khayr appears on a list issued in 2009 of 85 persons wanted by the government of Saudi Arabia, in part because of his role as an al-Qaida financial facilitator. He has transferred hundreds of thousands of dollars for a specific terrorist attack against U.S. interests. Al-Khayr also acts for al-Qaida in a leadership role on the terrorist group's media committee, and has on at least one occasion recruited a member for al-Qaida. His relationship with al-Qaida began with military training the group provided him in the mid-1990s. Al-Khayr is a son-in-law of Osama bin Laden and has also provided services to bin Laden as a bodyguard.
"After the death in May of Mustafa Abu al-Yazid, who essentially served as al-Qaida's chief financial officer, we will continue to work with our allies to target those like al-Khayr who could step into al-Yazid's shoes," said Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Stuart Levey. By designating al-Khayr a terrorist financier, the United States and the United Nations, said Under Secretary Levey, "will help ensure that al-Qaida remains in severe financial straits."