WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Bush administration will create a task force to improve regulations for catching drug dealers, terrorists and others involved in money laundering, a senior Treasury official said Thursday.
Deputy Treasury Secretary Ken Dam, in prepared testimony to the House Financial Services Committee, said the new task force would be housed within the Treasury Department, which is playing the lead role in the administration's effort to cut terrorists off from their sources of financing.
The task force will work with financial regulators, law enforcement, consumers and others "to improve the regulations that we have already implemented," Dam said. Those regulations he referred to carry out a sweeping anti-terrorism and anti-money laundering law enacted by Congress law fall. Since then, Treasury has been cranking out new rules to implement the law.
U.S. efforts over the past year to financially paralyze terrorists are producing some "real-world effects," including squeezing the al-Qaida network, Treasury said in a report last week.
Approximately $112 million in assets belonging to suspected terrorists have been frozen worldwide in more than 500 accounts since Sept. 11 last year, the report said.
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