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Thursday, 29 August, 2002, 20:40 GMT 21:40 UK
Al-Qaeda 'poised to strike again'
Osama bin Laden
The report says Bin Laden has a large investment portfolio
Osama Bin Laden's al-Qaeda terrorist network is alive and well and continues to pose a real threat to the world, a leaked UN report has warned.


Despite having lost its physical base and sanctuary in Afghanistan, al-Qaeda continues to pose a significant threat to international peace and security

The report of the UN monitoring group, set to be published next week, says measures to freeze the funds of the organisation and apprehend its members have not been thoroughly implemented.

Al-Qaeda still has access to considerable funds and arms supplies. In fact its ability to fund activities is thought to have increased as it no longer has to support the Taleban government or training camps in Afghanistan.

"Despite having lost its physical base and sanctuary in Afghanistan, al-Qaeda continues to pose a significant threat to international peace and security," the report reads.

The organisation, warns the report, "is poised to strike again how and where it chooses".

'Funds flowing'

The document was prepared by a panel mandated by the UN Security Council to monitor the implementation of UN sanctions.

In accordance with a January resolution, all nations are required to freeze the finances, impose arms embargos and travel bans on individuals or groups connected with al-Qaeda or Bin Laden.

But the UN list of people associated with the organisation has not been comprehensively adopted by member states, and al-Qaeda members continue to travel freely.

Banks meanwhile have lost enthusiasm for freezing accounts allegedly belonging to al-Qaeda members, the report says.

Despite initial successes in locating and freezing more than $110m in assets belonging to al-Qaeda, it said only about $10m had been frozen this year.

It estimates that individuals acting on behalf of Osama Bin Laden and al-Qaeda are managing a global investment portfolio that is valued at anything between $30m and $300m.

The BBC's Greg Barrow at the UN says this document reflects the challenge of controlling an organisation that is spread across the world, with no central leadership, and which has a cunning ability to hide itself within benign organisations such as charities or religious groups.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Greg Barrow
"Al-Qaeda still has access to considerable funds"

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29 Aug 02 | Europe
12 Mar 02 | Americas
07 Nov 01 | Business
25 Apr 02 | Business
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