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US Sanctions Money Laundering Network Supporting Somali Militant Group al-Shabab

US Sanctions Money Laundering Network Supporting Somali Militant Group al-Shabab

The United States has sanctioned a network of individuals and entities that raise and launder money for Somalia-based al-Shabaab.

According to the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, the al-Qaida affiliate is a militant group responsible for attacks in East Africa that have killed thousands of innocent civilians.

The sanction targeted eight people and eight entities for their roles in generating and laundering millions for the terrorist organization.

OFAC said the network is believed to be operating in the Horn of Africa region, the United Arab Emirates and Cyprus. Al-Shabab draws its funds from businesses and individuals and its fundraising activities deliver over $100 million each year, it added.

Al-Shabab shares the collected money with other al-Qaida-supported groups worldwide to fund their objectives of sowing terror and disrupting targeted countries’ stability, the agency said in a press statement.

Among the blacklisted entities are the Dubai-based Haleel Group, tagged as a financial facilitator for al-Shabab, and Kenya-based Crown Bus Services, which the U.S. government accused of providing logistical support.

The action freezes the entities’ assets in the United States and prohibits any U.S. persons from conducting business with them.

In a statement, Brian Nelson, the Treasury’s undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said the sanction supports ongoing efforts by the Somali government to degrade al-Shabab’s capabilities.

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