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 You are in: Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs: Press Relations Office > Press Releases (Other) > 2003 > August
Press Statement
Philip T. Reeker, Deputy Spokesman
Washington, DC
August 8, 2003


Designation of Shamil Basayev under Executive Order 13224

Secretary of State Colin L. Powell today designated Shamil Basayev, Amir (leader) of the Riyadus-Salikhin Reconnaissance and Sabotage Battalion of Chechen Martyrs (RSRSBCM), under Executive Order 13224 on terrorism financing, blocking his assets in the U.S., held by U.S. persons and barring most transactions with him.

Secretary Powell designated Basayev’s group on February 28, 2003, pursuant to section 1(b) of Executive Order 13224, authorizing him to designate foreign entities and individuals he determines--in consultation with the Attorney General, the Treasury Secretary, and the Homeland Security Secretary--to have committed, or to pose significant risk of committing, acts of terror that threaten the security of U.S. nationals or the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the U.S.

We believe that Basayev, as leader of his group and individually, took part in planning and perpetrating terrorist acts. He claimed responsibility for seizing the Dubrovka Theater in Moscow in October 2002. This act of terrorism resulted in the death of 129 hostages, including one U.S. citizen.

On December 27, 2002, Chechen suicide bombers destroyed the Chechen administration complex in Groznyy, killing 78 dead and wounding 150. Basayev claimed he personally pressed the button detonating the explosive device. On May 12, 2003, a truck loaded with explosives killed 60, including seven children and wounded 200 at a government compound in the Chechen town of Znamenskoye. The next day in Iliskhan-Yurt a female suicide bomber approached Akhmad Kadyrov, head of the pro-Moscow Chechen administration, at a local religious festival. The blast did not kill Kadyrov but it did kill the bomber and 18 others, wounding 43. Basayev publicly claimed to have planned these suicide bomb operations.

In November 2002, Basayev warned member states of international organizations in Russia that they were considered targets for future attacks.

For these and other acts of terror, the Secretary made today’s designation. Because Basayev has links to al-Qaeda, the U.S., along with the United Kingdom and the Russian Federation, asked today that the UN 1267 Sanctions Committee include him on its consolidated list maintained pursuant to UN Security Council Resolutions 1267, 1390 and 1455. Once listed, all UN Member States must impose arms and travel sanctions on Basayev, freeze his assets without delay, and prohibit their nationals and persons in their territories from making available to him any funds or other resources.

Released on August 8, 2003

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