US targets assets of more Kenyans over terror links

Africa
Ms Halima Adan Ali and her co-accused in court after their arrest over Al-Shabaab ties in 2015. PHOTO | WACHIRA MWANGI

WASHINGTON, US - The United States President Donald Trump's administration has imposed sanctions on several Kenyans over alleged support to terrorist groups in Somalia.

And following the announcement, the US will seize their assets and bar Americans from entering into financial dealings with them.

In an update on sanctioned individuals released on Wednesday, and seen by the Business Daily, the US Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has added Garissa based Sheikh Hassaan Hussein Adam (Hussein), Sheikh Hassaan (Omar), Hassan Mahad (Omar) and Hassan Mahat.

Egyptian born Kenyan citizens Al Masri, Abd Al Wakil (Ali) and Moustafa Ali Elbishy (Al Masri are also in the blacklist alongside Mombasa-based Abdifatah Abubakar Abdi (Muhajir, Musa), who is a Somalia national.

The action also includes a freeze on any assets that the individuals may hold in the US.

Garissa-based Alharamain Foundation, variously referred to as Al-Haramain Foundation, Alharamain Humanitarian Foundation or simply Al-Haramain has also been blacklisted.

In April, the Treasury Department issued similar sanctions on Kenya-based Halima Adan Ali saying she was part of a network that moved more than $150,000 (about Sh15,166,500.11) through the hawala system to Islamic State (Isis) 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-Shabaab militants, according to the Treasury Department. Ali was sanctioned alongside seven other people based in Belgium and Turkey.

“Treasury 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 undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence.

Earlier in September, the US imposed sanctions against another Kenyan also accused of running a worldwide financial network in support of Isis.

Waleed Ahmed Zein was described by a US Treasury Department official as “a dangerous terrorist who established an intricate global network of financial facilitators for Isis, using intermediaries to evade police and fund their deadly ambitions.”

The intricate web that helped finance Isis operations spanned Europe, the Middle East, the Americas, and East Africa, the Treasury Department said.

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