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Bank freezes funds linked to bin Laden

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Andrew Bushe

DUBLIN — The Central Bank has frozen three accounts in financial institutions suspected of being linked to Osama bin Laden or organizations connected with him.

Bank officials and gardai will be carrying out investigations into the accounts involved to decide if further legal action should be taken.

A Bank spokesman last week would give no details of the financial institutions involved or how much money has been frozen.

Since the terror attacks in the U.S. on Sept. 11, a long list of suspect individuals and organizations have been circulated worldwide by the U.S. authorities.

“This is coming through an EU regulation,” the spokesman said. “There are hundred and hundreds of names and there have been revised lists as we went along.

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“I don’t see the matter as being closed at this stage. There could be other accounts affected.”

Since the terror attacks, Garda surveillance has been stepped up on people who are suspected of having connections with bin Laden. A unit within the Special Branch has been given additional resources.

Last month, four men were arrested in Dublin in what Garda described as an “ongoing investigation into international terrorist groups.”

The men were questioned under the anti-terrorist laws for 40 hours before being released without being charged.

Three of the men were originally from Libya and one from Algeria.

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