The US state department imposed financial sanctions on him on Friday, including a freeze on his assets.

 

Secretary of State Colin Powell said Basayev "has committed, or poses a significant risk of committing acts of terrorism that threaten the security of US nationals or the national security, foreign policy or economy of the United States."

  

US officials also accused Basayev of having received millions of dollars from Usama bin Ladin and his al-Qaida network.

 

Resistance groups

 

Since the 11 September attacks Russian President Vladimir  Putin has put pressure on the Americans to blacklist Chechen resistance groups.

  

Earlier this year Colin Powell added three Chechen groups affiliated with Basayev to the US list of banned terrorist organizations.

  

The three groups were the Riyadus-Salikhin Reconnaissance and Sabotage Battalion of Chechen Martyrs, the Special Purpose Islamic Regiment, and the Islamic International Brigade.

Vladimir Putin wants to blacklist all
Chechen resistance groups

  

Basayev is the main separatist resistance leader in Chechnya and has taken responsibility for a series of anti-Russian attacks in May.

 

Hero

 

He also took responsibility for last October’s hostage-taking in a Moscow theater.

 

Regarded as a hero by many Chechens, Basayev has put up the most effective organised resistance to Russia's presence in Chechnya.

 

Russia has conducted a brutal war against Chechnya for the past four years.

 

President Vladimir Putin launched the war in a bid to stop Chechnya from breaking away from Russia.