Last updated: 15 December, 2011

US puts alleged Zarqawi associate on terror list

The United States has placed on a terror watch list a Saudi militant said to have been an associate of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the deceased former leader of Iraq’s branch of Al-Qaeda.

Saleh al-Qarawi was identified by the State Department on Thursday as a “specially designated global terrorist,” a classification which would freeze any of his assets and property in the United States and prohibit any US citizen from engaging in financial transactions with him.

US officials describe Qarawi as a senior leader and operative for the Abdullah Azzam Brigades (AAB), a Lebanese militant organization.

Qarawi is wanted by authorities in his native Saudi Arabia for alleged extremist activities abroad.

He also is the subject of an Interpol warrant issued in March 2009 for activities related to terrorism.

AAB claimed responsibility for the July 28, 2010 maritime bombing of a Japanese oil tanker, the M Star in the Strait of Hormuz.

The group also claimed responsibility for firing several rockets into Israel from Lebanon since 2009.

Prior to his activity with AAB, Qarawi fought against US forces in Fallujah, Iraq, where he worked with Zarqawi, who was killed in a 2006 US air strike.