Home Islam US sanctions alleged Islamic State fundraising – CBS17.com

US sanctions alleged Islamic State fundraising – CBS17.com

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CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) — The U.S. Treasury Department on Tuesday announced financial sanctions against four men in South Africa it accuses of being recruiters and fundraisers for the Islamic State group.

Three of the men raised funds for the extremist group in Iraq and Syria, the Treasury Department said, and the fourth helped move money and buy weapons for an IS branch in Mozambique, southern African countries.

Attacks by Islamic extremists in the province of Cabo Delgado, in the far north of Mozambique, caught the world‘s attention in 2020 due to mass beheadings, including of children.

The United States has since labeled extremists operating in Cabo Delgado as an offshoot of the Islamic State.

IS and IS-linked groups have been behind attacks in West and East Africa for years, but the attacks in Mozambique have underscored the growing reach of extremists in Africa.

ISIS “has recently attempted to expand its influence in Africa through large-scale operations in areas where government control is limited,” the Treasury Department said in a statement. IS supporters in South Africa, who have rarely been connected to the group before, are playing an “increasingly central role” in facilitating the transfer of money to branches across Africa, the department added. .

Undersecretary of the Treasury Brian E. Nelson said the United States was working with African partners, including South Africa, to “dismantle” IS financial support networks.

The four men in South Africa identified on Tuesday used a range of tactics to raise money for the group, including kidnapping for ransom, extortion and training members to commit robbery, authorities said. Two of them are South African nationals, one an Ethiopian national and the other a Tanzanian national.

The sanctions freeze any property or other assets the four men have in the United States or have placed under the control of a US citizen. They also prohibit US entities from receiving or sending money to any of the four.

One of the men, Farhad Hoomer, trained and led an IS cell in the South African city of Durban, the Treasury Department said.

Hoomer and his associates were arrested in 2018 and charged with plotting to plant a series of bombs at various sites in the city and attacking a mosque where worshipers had their throats slit. The case against Hoomer and the other suspects was eventually dropped in 2020 due to prosecution delays in presenting evidence, South African media reported.

Another of the suspects, Abdella Hussein Abadigga, had close ties to an IS leader in Somalia, the Treasury Department said.