By : Zakeriye ahmed Horndiplomat Correspondent
The United States Treasury Department said in a statement that the network involved procuring arms, financial facilitation, and recruiting soldiers for Al-Shabaab.
U.S. Treasury Assistant Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson said, “Treasury focuses on identifying and disrupting al-Shabaab’sillicit networks operating in Eastern Africa.”
“We will continue to take action against the illegal arms importation and fundraising activities of Al-Shabaab and other al-Qaeda affiliates,” he added.
The Treasury Department said, “Al-Shabaab funds the efforts of Al-Qaeda, and its affiliated groups. By adding that the Al-Shabaab militants generate around $100 million per year through multiple funding streams, including extortion of local businesses and individuals, collections of fees on goods, and the facilitation of illicit trades.
Individuals subject to restrictions are:
Abdullahi Jeeri is Al-Shabaab’s head of arms supply, buying weapons for the group from inside and abroad, particularly in Yemen. He also connects Al-Shabaab with businesses in Somalia and collects taxes imposed by the group. Abdullahi Jeeri is one of the serving members of Al-Shabaab’s leadership body, the Shura Council.
Khalif Adale is in charge of fundraising for Al-Shabaab from non-governmental organizations and NGOs and reports directly to the group’s leader, Ahmed Diriye.
Abdikarim Hussein Gagaale served as Al-Shabaab’s deputy finance chief under Mahad Karate’s leadership.
Abdi Samad is close to the top leadership council of the group. In 2010, Al-Shabaab provided Abdi Samad’s university degree funding, including travel and tuition expenses, and in 2018, he did follow-up and research work for the Al-Shabaab group.
Abdirahman Nurey is in charge of linking Al-Shabaab with private businesses in Somalia. He has securely stored, transferred, and laundered fiat and digital currency for Al-Shabaab and collected financial transfers from local finance officials to the group’s finance leaders.
Furthermore, the U.S. put $5 million on Al-Shabaab’s paramount leader, Hassan Afgooye, to anyone who brings information about him. Hassan Afgooye runs a financial network dedicated to fake charity collection, extortion, and kidnapping. Formerly he served as the head of Al-Shabaab’s finance department under Mahad Karate.
The Department of Finance also imposed restrictions on Al-Shabaab individuals of Mohamed Hussein Salad, Ahmed Hasan Ali Sulaiman Mataan, and Mohamed Ali Badaas for smuggling and weapons trafficking networks in Yemen.
The Treasury Department’s embargo means that starting today, all assets of these individuals and all their assets located in the United States or controlled by American individuals are frozen. In addition, dealing with these individuals or doing business with them is forbidden.
A move comes days after Somalia’s government threatened to sanction companies that pay extortion funds to Al-Shabaab. “Any merchant who obeys instructions issued by the terrorists, and pays them income, will never be allowed to do business in Somalia again,” the ministry of commerce said in a statement.