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US blacklists Daesh's financial facilitators in Syria and Turkey

May 17, 2021
The United States on Monday imposed sanctions on three individuals and one entity for their links with Daesh (the so-called ISIS). — Courtesy file photo
The United States on Monday imposed sanctions on three individuals and one entity for their links with Daesh (the so-called ISIS). — Courtesy file photo

Saudi Gazette report

WASHINGTON —
The United States on Monday imposed sanctions on three individuals and one entity for their links with Daesh (the so-called ISIS).

“The individuals and company being designated today played a crucial role connecting ISIS with a network of international donors and enabled ISIS to access the financial system in the Middle East,” US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) said in a statement.

The designated individuals and the entity are Alaa Khanfurah, Ibrahim Ali Awad Al-Fay, Idris Ali Awad Al-Fay and Al-Fay Company.

According to the US Department of Treasury, Khanfurah’s Turkey-based money service business transferred funds to Daesh members throughout Syria, in part through the direct financial ties Khanfurah maintained with Daesh financial facilitators.

Idris Al-Fay, who is currently in Iraqi custody, used the Turkey-based Al-Fay Company to facilitate the global distribution of currency on behalf of Daesh. Al-Fay Company was also used by Idris Al-Fay as an intermediary between foreign donors and Daesh, including Daesh members located in the al-Hawl Internally Displaced Persons camp in northeastern Syria.

Ibrahim Al-Fay, Idris Al-Fay’s brother, manages the Al-Fay Company in Idris Al-Fay’s absence. By appropriating funds from international sources through a network of currency exchanges and hawalas, Idris Al-Fay and Ibrahim Ali ‘Awad’ Al-Fay were able to send funds to Daesh elements in Iraq and Syria.

The move will play a fundamental role in coordinating efforts to deny Daesh’s access to the international financial system and eliminate its sources of revenue, the statement added.

“This Administration is committed to preventing the resurgence of Daesh and countering the group’s terrorist financing networks wherever they operate,” said Andrea Gacki, director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control.

“These designations highlight the continued importance of all jurisdictions bolstering their efforts to combat the financing of terrorism.”

The US believes that Daesh is continuing to exploit formal financial systems despite the loss of its territorial caliphate in Iraq and Syria.

According to the statement, in Iraq and Syria, Daesh has generated revenue through extortion of local businesses, kidnapping for ransom, and looting. The group has transferred funds internationally through money services businesses, including hawalas, couriers, and financial facilitation networks.

In addition to revenue generated from its illicit financial activities, Daesh also has access to tens of millions of dollars in cash reserves disbursed across the region.

Throughout Iraq, Syria, and Turkey, Daesh has relied on key money services business operators, like those designated on Monday, that allow Daesh to obfuscate its involvement in transactions.


May 17, 2021
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