U.S. sanctions Islamic State ‘facilitators’ in Middle East, Africa

An Iraqi soldier holds the flag of the Islamic State militant group in the Old City of Mosul, Iraq, on July 10, 2017, after retaking the city from jihadists. File Photo by Hana Noori/UPI

Feb. 9 (UPI) — The U.S. Treasury announced sanctions Friday against three Islamic State facilitators in Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

The Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control said it designated Abdulpatta Escalon Abubakar, Yunus Emre Sakarya and Mohamed Mire Ali Yusuf and three entities as “Specially Designated Global Terrorists.”

The move is part of an effort to identify and expose individuals who provide support to the Islamic State, which also is known by the acronym ISIS.

All three men are now prohibited from making transactions with Americans and their U.S. assets have been blocked.

“The [Trump] administration is committed to defeating ISIS wherever it operates, denigrating its illicit revenue streams, and pursuing all financial conduits,” Sigal Mandelker, Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, said in a statement.

“Each individual and entity targeted has contributed to the spread of ISIS’s terror reach in their respective corner of the world. Treasury will continue to relentlessly target ISIS support networks, and ensure that the U.S. and international financial systems are not being exploited by terror operatives.”

The men were sanctioned for assisting in, sponsoring or providing financial, material or technological support for the terror network.

For the last two years, Abubakar is known to have served as a key facilitator for the militant group’s Philippine network — helping transfer about $50,000.

Sakarya was found to have been involved in transactions for equipment worth over $500,000 for the Islamic State in early-to-mid-2016.

Liibaan Trading and the Al-Mutafaq Commercial Company were designated for being owned or controlled by Mire Ali, an Islamic State financial operative.


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