US Sanctions Islamic State Financial, Recruitment Networks
The U.S. Government imposed sanctions on a number of networks that have been providing critical financial and logistical support to the Islamic State in the Middle East and South Asia.
The Treasury Department said its Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated two Turkey-based Islamic State procurement agents and four ISIS-linked companies operating in Syria, Turkey, and across the Gulf and Europe.
Additionally, Treasury has taken action against Afghanistan-based Nejaat Social Welfare Organization, which has been transferring funds and supporting the activities of the terrorist group’s branch in Afghanistan, ISIS – Khorasan, under cover of charity.
Treasury also took action against two senior officials affiliated with this organization. The designated companies are Sahloul Money Exchange Company, Al-Sultan Money Transfer Company, Tawasul Company, and ACL Ithalat Ihracat.
In 2016, Sahloul Money Exchange Company transferred thousands of dollars to ISIS operatives in Turkey, and facilitated the transfer of foreign donations to the terrorist organization’s then-headquarters in Mosul, Iraq. In late 2017, Sahloul held deposits from ISIS-linked individuals seeking help to travel from Syria to Turkey.
Al-Sultan Money Transfer Company has been operating as an exchange that could be used to avoid scrutiny when transferring funds.
ISIS used many companies in Syria and Western Europe, including Tawasul, to transfer money among ISIS fighters.
Nejaat Social Welfare Organization was used as a cover company to facilitate the transfer of funds and support the activities of ISIS-K.
Nejaat collected donations on behalf of ISIS-K from individuals in Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Iraq, and other Middle Eastern countries.
Nejaat’s offices in Kabul and Jalalabad distributed the funds to ISIS-K commanders.
The pro-IS individuals that the Treasury designated are Ismail Bayaltun, Ahmet Bayaltun, Sayed Habib Ahmad Khan and Rohullah Wakil.
Turkey-based Ismail Bayaltun and his brother Ahmet have provided support to ISIS fighters —through a company they owned in Turkey, named ACL Ithalat Ihracat.
Kuwait-based Sayed Habib Ahmad Khan and Rohullah Wakil were the main operators of Nejaat.
As per Executive Order 13224 targeting terrorists, all properties and interests of the targeted networks in the United States will be blocked and reported to OFAC.
The Treasury has warned that persons that engage in transactions with the designated individuals may be exposed to sanctions or enforcement action.
“Following the highly successful operation against al-Baghdadi, the Trump Administration is resolved to completely destroy ISIS’s remaining network of terror cells,” said Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin. “The Treasury Department contributes to this effort in several ways, including by degrading ISIS’s ability to recruit and arm fighters globally by stamping out its financial footholds,” he added in a statement.
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