2003 Press Release

Saudi Arabia and United States Make Joint Designation on Terror Financing

[Washington, DC] -- Saudi Arabia and the United States have taken steps to designate two organizations as financiers of terrorism under United Nations Security Council Resolution 1267 (1999).  These organizations are the Bosnia-based Vazir and the Liechtenstein-based Hochburg AG.

Mr. Safet Durguti, a representative of the Vazir organization, has also been designated under the relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions as a terrorist financier.  The Vazir organization came under scrutiny after Saudi Arabia, working with the U.S. Treasury Department, designated the Bosnia branch of the Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation as financiers of terrorism. Saudi Arabia and the United States determined that the Bosnia and Somalia branches of the Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation supported terrorist activities and terrorist organizations such as Al-Qaeda and al-Itihaad al-Islamiya (AIAI).

After the Bosnia branch of Al-Haramain was designated in March 2002, the offices were closed but in August of 2003 operations resumed in Travnik, Bosnia under the new name, Vazir.

Hochburg, AG, located in Vaduz, Liechtenstein, is the successor organization to BA Taqwa, an entity that had been designated as a supporter of terrorism in August of 2002.

Saudi Ambassador to the United States, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, stated: "Financiers of terrorism cannot evade us by changing their names or by reinventing their organizations.  Today, through vast improvements in international cooperation, we can better track terror financing and choke off sources of terror funding."

Saudi Arabia and the United States recently formed a special task force focusing on terror financing.  Through this task force, Saudi and U.S. law enforcement and intelligence officials work side by side in ongoing terror financing investigations.

According to Prince Bandar, "Instead of passing information across three oceans, we pass it across a desk.  By working closely together, we have been able to achieve greater success in going after terror financing."