Tuesday April 16, 2019
Photo by Jim WATSON / AFP
WASHINGTON - The United States on
Monday imposed sanctions on financiers with bases in Belgium, Kenya and
Turkey on charges they funneled money internationally for the Islamic
State extremist group.The Treasury Department said it had
pinpointed successors to Fawaz Muhammad Jubayr al-Rawi, who was killed
in a U.S.-led coalition air strike in Syria in 2017 after allegedly
sending millions of dollars earmarked for the jihadis.
The United States imposed sanctions on seven people,
including Mushtaq Talib Zughayr al-Rawi, who as of late 2018 was living
with his family in Belgium, according to the Treasury Department.
seized evidence during a raid on the Islamic State group last year that
showed Mushtaq was helping fund them by exploiting the Iraqi
government’s electronic payment machines designed to distribute payments
to public employees and retirees, the Treasury Department said.
is dedicated to ensuring the enduring defeat of ISIS by cutting off all
remaining sources of their terror funding around the globe,” said Sigal
Mandelker, the department’s under secretary for terrorism and financial
Rawi’s network dates from the 1990s in Iraq, when
it used the region’s hawala system, the informal network of money
transfers conducted through face-to-face guarantees, to evade biting
international sanctions on the country then ruled by Saddam Hussein.
Treasury Department also sanctioned a money exchange company, Al-Ard
Al-Jadidah, said to connect Iraq’s hawalas with the northern Turkish
city of Samsun.
An Islamic State member in Iraq allegedly received $1 million through the exchange last year, it said.
targeted in the latest sanctions was Kenya-based Halima Adan Ali, who
the Treasury Department said was part of a network that moved more than
$150,000 through the hawala system to Islamic State fighters in Syria,
Libya and central Africa.
She has been arrested twice by Kenyan
authorities and also served as a recruiter for Somalia’s al-Shabab
militants, according to the Treasury Department.
announcement, the United States will seize any assets it finds that
belong to the sanctioned individuals and bar any Americans from
financial dealings with them.