Published: Jul 25, 2011 7:00 PM EDT
Updated: Jul 25, 2011 6:00 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Obama administration is launching a new strategy to take on international criminal organizations, targeting crime factions in Mexico, Japan, Italy and Eastern Europe with a presidential executive order aimed at disrupting their financial operations.
    
The order signed by President Barack Obama takes steps against four crime organizations by blocking their property interests and authorizing financial sanctions against anyone aiding them. The groups include Los Zetas, a Mexican drug ring linked to multiple murders; the Yakuza, Japan's main underworld group; the Camorra, a crime network based in southern Italy; and the Brothers' Circle, an Eastern European criminal group operating worldwide.
    
The moves come as the administration is animating a long-scattered effort to confront global crime groups that transport drugs, weapons and enable terrorist groups.

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