U.S. Treasury Targets Islamic State Financial Network With Sanctions – Wall Street Journal

U.S. Treasury Targets Islamic State Financial Network With Sanctions – Wall Street Journal

The U.S. Treasury Department on Monday imposed sanctions on seven individuals and a money-services business that the agency said helped move money for Islamic State.

The action comes less than a month after U.S.-backed forces captured the last territory controlled by Islamic State in Syria, marking the demise of the group’s so-called caliphate.

The Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control targeted six members of the Rawi Network, a financial organization based in Iraq that the department says helped Islamic State facilitate transactions across Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

The network was used by former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein in the early 1990s to evade sanctions and later supported Islamic State by smuggling cash and using other techniques to launder money, the Treasury Department said.

A Kenyan woman also was added to the U.S. sanctions list for allegedly facilitating transactions for Islamic State in East Africa.

“Treasury is dedicated to ensuring the enduring defeat of ISIS by cutting off all remaining sources of their terror funding around the globe,“ Sigal Mandelker, undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said in a statement.

The government of Iraq provided information that led to the sanctions announcement Monday, the Treasury Department said.

Efforts to reach the blacklisted individuals and money-services business were unsuccessful.

One of the ways the Rawi Network laundered money was by registering businesses with the Iraqi government to acquire QiCard machines, which are typically used to distribute payments to government employees and retirees, according to the Treasury Department. The machines were used to launder money for Islamic State, the department said.

Two of the individuals who were added to the sanctions list Monday—Umar Talib Zughayr al-Rawi of Iraq and Abd al Rahman ‘Ali Husayn al-Ahmad al-Rawi of Syria—were selected to manage the financial affairs of an Islamic State-controlled region, the Treasury Department said.

Halima Adan Ali, based in Kenya, was also placed on the sanctions list for allegedly facilitating payments in Syria, Libya and central Africa on behalf of Islamic State fighters, the Treasury Department said.

According to OFAC, the other blacklisted members of the Rawi Network include: Mushtaq Talib Zughayr al-Rawi, Walid Talib Zughayr al-Rawi, Muhannad Mushtaq Talib Zughayr al-Rawi and Muhammad Abd-al-Qadir Mutni Assaf al-Rawi.

OFAC also imposed sanctions on Al-Ard Al-Jadidah Money Exchange Co. The agency said it transferred money for Islamic State across Iraq.

Write to Kristin Broughton at Kristin.Broughton@wsj.com

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