US and Gulf states sanction six targets linked to ISIL

US Treasury claims blacklisted individuals and entities provided financial and logistical support to ISIL.

Militant Islamist fighters wave flags as they take part in a military parade along the streets of Raqqa
ISIL fighters wave flags as they take part in a military parade along the streets of Syria's northern Raqqa province in 2014 [File: stringer/Reuters]

The United States and six Gulf nations jointly sanctioned six targets including individuals and entities on Wednesday that the US claims are affiliated with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, or ISIS).

The Terrorist Financing Targeting Center (TFTC) member states, including the US, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, blacklisted three money services businesses and one individual located in Turkey and Syria that provided “a critical financial and logistical lifeline” to ISIL, its branches and its global facilitation networks, the US Treasury said in a statement on its website. 

The sanctioned money services businesses include al-Haram Exchange, Tawasul Company, and al-Khalidi Exchange which the US Treasury claims served as a conduit of support for Syria-based ISIL fighters and “provided hundreds of thousands of dollars of liquidity” to ISIL leadership. 

Abd-al-Rahman Ali Husayn al-Ahmad al-Rawi, who was selected by ISIL in 2017 to serve as a senior financial facilitator, was also blacklisted, the Treasury said. The US claims he is among only a few individuals who provided ISIL with “significant financial facilitation” into and out of Syria.

The Afghanistan-based Nejaat Social Welfare Organization and its director, Sayed Habib Ahmad Khan, who the Treasury accuse of collecting donations on behalf of ISIL’s Afghan affiliate and acting as a cover to funnel money to the group, were also blacklisted under Wednesday’s action.

This is the fifth round of joint sanctions issued by the TFTC since its inception in 2017. 

“The TFTC’s momentous efforts over the past three years have maximized the disruption of terrorist financing around the world,” said US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in a statement. “The TFTC has brought the US and its Gulf partners closer together to confront shared regional threats and build the lasting capacity to target terrorist financial networks wherever they operate.”

Wednesday’s action freezes any US assets of the individuals and entities blacklisted, and generally prohibits US citizens from dealing with them. 

Source: Al Jazeera

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