The US Treasury Department sanctioned a group of high-ranking members of the Somalia-based al-Shabab militant group, who act as key middlemen between the group and local companies in Somalia.
Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control imposed the sanctions on more than a dozen individuals from Somalia and Yemen who are involved in al-Shabab’s financing operations which in turn use those funds to assist in weapons procurement and recruitment activities. Along with the Treasury sanctions, the State Department designated five al-Shabab leaders for diplomatic penalties.
“Treasury is focused on identifying and disrupting al-Shabab’s illicit networks operating in Eastern Africa,” said Brian E. Nelson, Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.
Abdullahi Jeeri (Jeeri), Khalif Adale (Adale), Hassan Afgooye (Afgooye), Abdikarim Hussein Gagaale (Gagaale), Abdi Samad (Samad), and Abdirahman Nurey (Nurey) have been identified as financial intermediaries with close ties to Al Shabaab leadership.
Mohamed Hussein Salad (Salad), Ahmed Hasan Ali Sulaiman Mataan (Mataan), and Mohamed Ali Badaas (Badaas) are allegedly part of an al-Shabaab smuggling and weapons trafficking network in Yemen.
“These individuals are being designated pursuant to Executive Order (EO) 13224, as amended, which targets terrorist groups and their supporters. Concurrent with Treasury’s designations, the US Department of State designated five al-Shabaab leaders pursuant to EO 13224, as amended, for their leadership roles within al-Shabaab.”
The executive order is designed to block the property and transactions of persons who are suspected of committing or supporting terrorism. US President George W. Bush first issued it on September 23, 2001, in response to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, and it has been renewed annually.
“As a result of today’s action, all property and interests in property of the individuals named above, and of any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, 50 percent or more by them, individually, or with other blocked persons, that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons must be blocked and reported to OFAC.”
The U.S. says Al-Shabab generates around $100 million per year through extorting local businesses and individuals, collecting fees on goods, and facilitating illicit trades.
For more information, please contact the U.S. Embassy’s public diplomacy section at SomaliaPublicAffairs@state.gov.