Prohibiting Transactions with Terrorists
By: William Jefferson Clinton
Date: August 20, 1998
Source: Executive Office of the President ( White House)
About the Author: William Jefferson Clinton (1946 was the forty-second president of the United States (1993001). Before serving as president, Clinton served five terms as Arkansas' governor. During his presidency, Clinton helped to mediate the Israeli-Palestinian conflict disagreement over the status of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem. Negotiations between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) resulted in a declaration of peace during September 1993; however, it did not stop the fighting. Clinton continued to push for peace in the Middle East throughout his eight years in office, but was never able to accomplish a final peace agreement.
On October 28, 1977, the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) was enacted to give power to the U.S. presidentn the event of a national emergencyo use various financial and commercial means to deal with abnormal threats to the United States with respect to its economy, foreign policy, or national security. Among his powers, the president has the right to restrict such activities as foreign travel, borrowing and lending, and fulfilling of contracts to citizens or governments of various countries.
On January 23, 1995, President Clinton issued Executive Order 12947, which declared a national emergency based on the IEEPA. Clinton stated that the executive order (EO) was necessary in order to counter serious violence by twelve terrorist organizations in their continuing attempts to destroy the Middle East peace process and to attack the United States and its allies. The EO, which enabled the United States to freeze terrorist's assets and to block their business transactions, also gave the U.S. Treasury Secretary the authority to add individuals and other terrorist groups to the EO list.
On August 20, 1998, Executive Order 13099, which was an amendment to EO 12947, was issued by President Clinton following the attacks on the U.S. embassies located in Tanzania and Kenya. With the issuance of EO 13099, under the title "ProhibitingTransactions With Terrorists Who Threaten To Disrupt the Middle East Peace Process," Clinton identified four additional terrorist individuals/groupsost importantly Osama Bin Ladenho had not been listed on any previous executive orders.
The three terrorist individuals and one terrorist group included in Executive Order 13099, which imposed broad economic sanctions against them as declared in EO 12947, were:
- Osama Bin Laden, a Saudi Arabian and founder of the Islamic Army, popularly called the al-Qaeda terrorist network.
- Islamic Army, the worldwide network of militant Islamist organizations under the leadership of Osama Bin Laden.
- Abu Hafs al-Masri (or, Mohammad Atef ), the second in command of al-Qaeda before being killed in a U.S. missile attack in Afghanistan on November 15, 2001; since then, the Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades were formed.
- Rifa'i Ahmad Taha Musa (or, Rifai al-Taha), a guerrilla leader of the Islamic Army (specifically, the militant faction of Al-Gama à al-Islamiyya) and top aid to Osama Bin Laden.
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.), the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.), and section 301 of title 3, United States Code,
I, WILLIAM J. CLINTON, President of the United States of America, in order to take additional steps with respect to grave acts of violence committed by foreign terrorists that disrupt the Middle East peace process and the national emergency described and declared in Executive Order 12947 of January 23, 1995, hereby order:
Section 1: The title of the Annex to Executive Order 12947 of January 23, 1995, is revised to read "TERRORISTS WHO THREATEN TO DISRUPT THE MIDDLE EAST PEACE PROCESS."
Section 2: The Annex to Executive Order 12947 of January 23, 1995, is amended by adding thereto the following persons in appropriate alphabetical order:
Usama bin Muhammad bin Awad bin Ladin (a.k.a. Usama bin Ladin)
Islamic Army (a.k.a. Al-Qaida, Islamic Salvation Foundation, The Islamic Army for the Liberation of the Holy Places, The World Islamic Front for Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders, and The Group for the Preservation of the Holy Sites)
Abu Hafs al-Masri
Rifa'i Ahmad Taha Musa
Section 3: Nothing contained in this order shall create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable by any party against the United States, its agencies or instrumentalities, its officers or employees, or any other person.
Section 4: (a) This order is effective at 12:01 A.M., eastern daylight time on August 21, 1998.
(b) This order shall be transmitted to the Congress and published in the Federal Register.
WILLIAM J. CLINTON
THE WHITE HOUSE,
August 20, 1998.
Executive Order 13099, in essence, made it illegal for any transaction in business or dealing in property (or interests in property) to be made by United States citizens or within the United States with regards to three terrorists and one terrorist organization listed in the executive order. The order also authorizes the Treasury Secretary to block the property of persons associated with any of the four persons designated in the order. In addition, the order also allowed U.S. law enforcement agencies to seize and hold any assets of these four terrorists that can be identified in the United States.Executive Order 13099 is part of a concerted long-term plan by the United States government to prevent terrorism by destroying terrorist equipment, structures, finances, and other assets. The order, along with other similar executive orders, is significant to the U.S. war on terrorism because it permits the U.S. government to remove international financial funding that allows various foreign terrorist groups to pay for personnel, administration, supplies, information, training, and weapons. For example, the September 11, 2001 attacks on American soil were the result of an advanced, highly organized operation that required extensive use of intelligence, coordination, and training, and also necessitated significant amounts of money.
When this financial funding is removed, or at least substantially reduced, terrorist organizations have less direct ability to conduct their violent activities. For example, Bin Laden's al-Qaeda organization uses extensive private funding from around the world for its terrorist activities. Bin Laden uses his estimated $300 million in assets to fund many of the militant Islamic groups under the al-Qaeda network. However, it is difficult to locate or freeze these assets because many are not clearly tied to Bin Laden and other terrorists.
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