updated 1/8/2004 4:09:53 PM ET 2004-01-08T21:09:53

The chief of a Saudi charity that has been accused of terror links has been fired, Saudi officials said.

The officials said that Akeel al-Akeel of the Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation was sacked and replaced by his deputy, Dabbas al-Dabbasy.

The officials, speaking Wednesday on condition of anonymity, said Minister of Islamic Affairs Saleh al-Sheik issued the decision to dismiss al-Akeel, but they did not say when he was sacked or why.

In 2002, the U.S. government said it had evidence that some money from the organization’s offices in Bosnia and Somalia had been diverted to support terrorist activities and blocked the assets in both offices.

Al-Haramain has denied any link to terror activities and said it was only involved in charity work for the poor.

Following the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, Saudi Arabia came under intense U.S. pressure to freeze bank accounts linked to suspected terrorists. The attacks were carried out by 19 Arabs, including 15 Saudis.

Saudi authorities have imposed new restrictions on Islamic charities to ensure donations do not end up funding terror and have recently launched a massive crackdown on terror suspects, netting more than 600 suspected extremists.

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