Friday, November 18, 2005

Al-Zarqawi and the Baroness

Since my blog on the British Government's tardiness on freezing the assets of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi has inexplicably become unobtainable, I will try to recap the story here.

Months before the Ken Bigley case (Kidnapped and beheaded by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi), I wrote to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) to ask how the financial prosecution of the "war on terror" was going.  [update I wrote on : 25 March 2005]

They wrote back, fine thanks, no problem, on top of the case.

Then when Ken was kidnapped, it was reported that the Government was taking action to freeze the assets of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, Ken Bigley's killer.

So the Government officers had not previously taken action against al-Zaqari's group. Now this was either because either (a) they were ignorant of his existence, or (b) they knew of his existence, but did not see fit to freeze his accounts. I wrote via my MP 12 months ago to ask which was the case.

Baroness Symonds at the FCO replied.

The Baroness writes, "The Government always takes action to freeze the
assets of any terrorist or terrorist group, whenever it is apparent that
there are clear grounds on which to do so".

This is a clear indication that Government knew of the Musab al-Zarqawi's
group's existence, but did not see fit to freeze its assets.

The question I would now like you to put to the Baroness is,
"How many other terrorist groups of Musab al-Zaqarwi's calibre is the Government aware of, but does not see clear grounds to freeze their assets?"

A related question is this: "How does the funding of the officials charged
with the identification and asset freezing of terrorist groups, compare with
the military expenditure on the Iraq invasion?"

[A further question, which has just popped into my head, is this: " If Al-Zarqarwi was the last terrorist to be spared having his asset's frozen, why was this, given that he has a long history of terrorist activity predating the Ken Bigley murder?"].

To my recollection, I have not yet had an answer to these questions, so I will prompt them for a reply. I would have forgotten about this had someone not diverted the URL of the original page to the Not Found page.

You can ask them too, if you like. The address is

Foreign and Commonwealth Office
King Charles Street

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