Why freeze terrorist assets now?

I understand Bush is going to sign an executive order doing just that today.

Maybe a stupid question, but why wasn’t something like this done long ago?

This is just a guess, but it will probably take the cooperation of a lot of nations that we could not even dream of getting before. In some cases it will take pressure applied that ordinarily wouldn’t have been stood for before. In order to hunt down all of the assets it will probably take technology that didn’t exist before. And even after all of that it is still going to be hard to achieve.

The US has frozen some of bin Ladin’s money.

The US can not freeze his money in foreign banks. Only the local country can.

It also looks likely that bin Laden through proxies put on some pretty serious short positions in various global stock markets to take advantage of the reaction from the terrorist attacks. If preliminary indications are correct, we are talking at least in the tens of millions of dollars in profits, if not more. We’re also talking stock markets in Germany, Japan, France, US and probably more. An international effort is needed to trace the accounts and money flows. So, freezing assets is a good thing now.

Does anyone here know details on any of the entities (corporations, banks, etc.) in which OBL has financial interest?