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US sanctions financiers of Syrian rebels with links in Pakistan

Updated August 06, 2015

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Both “individuals (also) … played roles in supporting violent extremists in Syria, Pakistan and Sudan”, said an official statement issued in Washington. ─ AFP/File
Both “individuals (also) … played roles in supporting violent extremists in Syria, Pakistan and Sudan”, said an official statement issued in Washington. ─ AFP/File

WASHINGTON: The US Department of the Treasury on Wednesday imposed sanctions on two Qatari citizens, with links in Pakistan, for financing Al Qaeda-linked rebels in Syria.

Both “individuals (also) … played roles in supporting violent extremists in Syria, Pakistan and Sudan”, said an official statement issued in Washington.

The department identified them as Sa’d bin Sa’d Muhammad Shariyan al-Ka’bi, a Qatari financier of Al Qaeda’s Syria-based affiliate, al-Nusrah Front, and ‘Abd al-Latif Bin ‘Abdallah Salih Muhammad al-Kawari.

In the early 2000s, al-Kawari worked with US- and UN-designated Qatari Al Qaeda facilitator Ibrahim ‘Isa Haji Muhammad al-Bakr to transfer money to Al Qaeda in Pakistan.

Both were also designated Specially Designated Global Terrorists. Any assets these individuals may have under US jurisdiction were frozen, and US persons were prohibited from doing business with them.

The move, however, has far-reaching political implications and sends a clear signal to other similar people in the Gulf and Saudi Arabia that it was no more kosher to finance Syrian rebels.

The US Treasury noted that in recent years, ANF and Al Qaeda “have resorted to increasingly complicated schemes in the face of international pressure to maintain funding flows to support terrorist activities”.

The latest US action “advances efforts to target the external funding networks of ANF and Al Qaeda”, the statement said.

“These sanctions target two major facilitators of the al-Nusrah Front and Al Qaeda”, said Acting Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Adam J. Szubin.

Published in Dawn, August 6th, 2015

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