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US pins down Mombasa-based ISIS financier

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The US Treasury has designated Kenya-based Halima Adan Ali for assisting in, sponsoring, or providing financial, material, or technological support for, or financial or other services to, or in support of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria ( ISIS).

It says Halima played an integral role in an ISIS financial facilitation network spanning Europe, the Middle East, the Americas and Eastern Africa.  She worked with Treasury-designated Waleed Ahmaed Zein to conduct transactions at the behest of Waleed’s Syria-based family member in support of ISIS fighters.  Between 2017 and early 2018, Halima received large sums of money from around the world, mostly through hawala systems, that she would forward to ISIS fighters in Syria, Libya, and central Africa.  She was also used as a conduit to pass instructions, money, and accounts to Waleed. Their intricate network moved over $150,000 on behalf of ISIS.

Halima, who before becoming associated with ISIS served as an extremist recruiter and facilitator for al-Shabaab, planned to travel from East Africa to Syria and other ISIS supported areas in August 2014, but was left behind when she was arrested for activities in support of al-Shabaab.  Waleed’s Syria-based family member worked through proxy channels to provide funds to secure Halima’s release from prison on bond, after which she began to work closely with him in support of ISIS.  Halima was arrested again by Kenyan security services in July 2018.

Also designated are six members of the Rawi Network, who were described as key money men for the Islamic State. The US military and its allies have targeted Rawi personnel in Iraq and Syria. And intelligence from these raids helped inform Treasury’s latest designations.

The US killed Fawaz Muhammad Jubayr al-Rawi, a Syrian who helped lead the network and served as an Islamic State “finance emir,” in a June 2017 airstrike in Abu Kamal, Syria. The US and Iraqi governments had begun clamping down on his businesses months earlier. Fawaz rose to prominence within the Islamic State after he swore allegiance (or bayat) to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in 2014. Fawaz’s loyalty gave the self-declared caliphate access to his extensive web of businesses, which provided crucial money laundering and exchange services.

On September 7 last year, the US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) also took action targeting Zein, a terrorist in East Africa who established an intricate worldwide financial network to facilitate funds transfers for the ISIS.  Zein has been named a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13224 for assisting in, sponsoring, or providing financial, material, or technological support for, or financial or other services to or in support of, ISIS.

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BT Reporter
BT Reporterhttp://www.businesstoday.co.ke
editor [at] businesstoday.co.ke
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