United Nations: Nearly two years after the killing of al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, the UN Security Council has deleted his name from its sanctions list. The powerful 15-member council, however, will continue a freeze on bin Laden's assets to prevent them from being used by others for terrorist activities.
In a statement, the Security Council's al Qaeda Sanctions Committee said bin Laden's name had been deleted from its list for a travel ban and arms embargo. Bin Laden, who masterminded 9/11 terror attacks on the US that left nearly 3,000 people dead, was killed by American special forces in a covert raid in Pakistan's garrison city of Abbottabad on May 2, 2011.
The statement also said that UN member states would have to make a special request to the sanctions committee before any assets are released. "Prior to the unfreezing of any assets that have been frozen as a result of the listing of bin Laden, Member States shall submit to the Committee a request to unfreeze such assets and shall 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," the statement added.
The Committee maintains a list of individuals and entities subject to the sanctions measures. The al Qaeda Sanctions List currently includes 233 individuals and 63 organisations, foundations and companies.
The list is updated regularly on the basis of relevant information provided by Member States and international and regional organisations. The first sanctions were imposed against Taliban in November 1999. The sanctions were later extended to al Qaeda and in June 2011, the Security Council voted unanimously to treat al Qaeda and Taliban separately.