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Tuesday, 25 September, 2001, 09:45 GMT 10:45 UK
Call for Noraid crackdown
Jeffrey Donaldson
Jeffrey Donaldson wants "strong measures" used
Hardline Ulster Unionist MP Jeffrey Donaldson has called on the US Government to clamp down on an American fundraising organisation which supports the IRA.

It follows a move by the by President George W Bush to freeze the US assets of Osama Bin Laden, his al-Qaeda network and other groups it suspects of involvement in terrorism.

Mr Donaldson said using strong measures against the organisation Noraid would have an impact in Northern Ireland.

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "Without their funding, the IRA would not have nearly the same potential for violence that it currently has."

Noraid has openly expressed its support for the IRA but says it gives money for humanitarian aid, and denies any of its donations are used for the purchase of arms.

'Change of heart'

Conservative MP Andrew Hunter told Today that while historically, the US Government had not paid too much attention to the raising of funds by the IRA in America, current events may have worked "to change their minds".

Mr Hunter said that although the US was "overwhelmingly preoccupied with Islamic fundamentalism" at the moment, there were signs that "questions were being asked" about whether it had shown a contradictory attitude to terrorism in the past.

The UK Government has said it will take urgent measures to track capital flows linked to terrorists.

"We are considering as a matter of urgency what further steps we could take," a treasury spokesman said.

Chancellor Gordon Brown said last week that a list of people suspected of having ties to Bin Laden had been distributed to financial institutions, and that a suspect account had been found at a bank in west London.

See also:

24 Sep 01 | Americas
Bush calls halt to terror funding
24 Sep 01 | Business
Will Bush's asset freeze work?
19 Sep 01 | UK Politics
UK targets terrorist finances
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