Treasury targets group, person aiding Iraqi insurgents

The Treasury Department took steps to curb terrorism in Iraq today, designating an Iranian materials supplier and an Iraqi militia group as terrorists.

In a release, the Treasury targeted Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, a known adviser to Iraqi insurgent groups and a materials supplier, and the Iraqi Shia extremist group Kata'ib Hizballah for aiding and providing "lethal support" to well-known terrorists groups such as Hamas, Hizballah, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

The department invoked Executive Order 13438 against these groups, which takes aim at insurgent and militia groups and their supporters.

"These designations play a critical role in our efforts to protect Coalition troops, Iraqi security forces, and civilians from those who use violence against innocents to intimidate and to undermine a free and prosperous Iraq," said Stuart Levey, Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.

According to the release, the State Department also deemed Kata'ib Hizballah a terrorist group under Executive Order 13224. These executive order outlaw any financial transactions between these groups and U.S. entities as well as freezing any assets these groups have under U.S. jurisdiction.

Earlier this week, the Treasury Department took similar actions against Hong Kong Electronics, an Iranian firm known to have funneled funds toward North Korea's nuclear program.