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Muslim-Run Swiss Firm Liquidates

January 10, 2002

BELLINZONA, Switzerland (AP) _ A Muslim-run financial firm accused by the United States of helping fund Osama bin Laden’s terrorist network has gone into liquidation, with executives blaming Washington for its fate.

The register of commerce published this week in the southern Swiss state of Ticino said the Nada Management Organization went into liquidation early last month.

Nada, formerly known as the Al-Taqwa organization, was founded in 1988 and was run from Lugano, Switzerland, by its Egyptian-born managing director, Youssef M. Nada, and his Syrian-born associate, Ali Himat. Company officials have repeatedly denied links to terrorism.

The company was on President Bush’s Nov. 7 list of organizations accused of helping fund terrorism. Nada, Himat, and board members Mohamed Mansour and Albert Huber also were listed individually.

After the publication of the list, police raided the firm’s headquarters in Lugano and searched the homes of Nada and Himat in nearby Italy. Huber’s home near the Swiss capital, Bern, also was searched.

Swiss authorities blocked the accounts of the company and the personal accounts of board members, while neighboring Liechtenstein froze the accounts of an affiliate firm, the fiduciary company Asat Trust.

Swiss federal prosecutors are still investigating the firm, and have filed no charges and made no arrests, officials said.

``The liquidation has been ordered by the U.S. government, but the investigation in course will show that we have done nothing wrong and all suspicions are completely groundless,″ Huber, a former journalist who converted to Islam, told Swiss media.

Swiss prosecutors declined to comment on Huber’s allegations.

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