UN removes Osama bin Laden from sanctions list

Almost two years after his death at the hands of U.S. special forces in Pakistan, a U.N. Security Council committee has removed former al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden from its sanctions list, although an order freezing any assets of the Islamist extremist remains in place.

Bin Laden had been subjected to a travel ban and asset freeze since he was listed by the Security Council al-Qaida sanctions committee Jan. 25, 2001. He was shot and killed May 2, 2011, by U.S. forces who stormed his compound in Pakistan.

The U.N. committee said in a statement that bin Laden was removed officially from the sanctions list Feb. 21, but that countries must submit requests to unfreeze any of his assets.

Those countries also must "provide assurances to the Committee that the assets will not be transferred, directly or indirectly, to a listed individual, group, undertaking or entity, or otherwise used for terrorist purposes."

There are about 233 individuals and 63 entities or groups on the U.N. al-Qaida sanctions list. All individuals on the list are subject to asset freezes and an international travel ban.

Bin Laden's al-Qaida network was blamed for killing nearly 3,000 people when hijackers crashed commercial planes into the World Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania on Sept. 11, 2001.

The members of bin Laden's family in Pakistan were repatriated to Saudi Arabia in April 2012 on humanitarian grounds. The Saudi government did not say how many there were, but previous reports suggested that three widows, seven children and four grandchildren were deported.


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