US sanctions two Trini ISIS financial facilitators

The United States Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has sanctioned two Trinidadian Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) financiers.

The Treasury Department said on Sept. 19 that Emraan Ali and Eddie Aleong have been sanctioned pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, which targets terrorists and those providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism.

“While coalition efforts have led to the collapse of ISIS’s self-declared caliphate, Treasury continues to aggressively target financiers supporting ISIS’s radical agenda,” the department said in a statement.

“We are sanctioning individuals involved in financial facilitation to obstruct and deter ISIS financial operations in regions across the world,” said Sigal Mandelker, treasury under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence.

“Our actions coincide with the 10th meeting of the Counter-ISIS Finance Group (CIFG), which includes 52 countries and international organizations committed to disrupting critical sources of ISIS revenue to permanently prevent ISIS from accessing the international financial system,” he added.

Mandelker said the designations are part of Treasury’s and the broader US government’s ongoing and concerted efforts to disrupt ISIS-related financial activities around the globe.

Throughout 2018, he said the Departments of the Treasury and State targeted ISIS branches, facilitators, and networks in Bangladesh, Iraq, Somalia, the Philippines, and across West and North Africa.

Mandelker said the US government will continue taking disruptive action to prevent ISIS from exploiting the financial system to fund its operations.

As a result of the action, the Treasury Department said all property and interests in property of these persons subject to US jurisdiction are blocked, adding that US persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them.

The Treasury Department said that Ali was designated for acting for or on behalf of ISIS.

It said the Syria-based, dual US and Trinidadian national has been involved in money transfers from Trinidad and Tobago to Syria in support of ISIS.

As of January 2017, the Treasury Department said “Ali would receive and provide funds to Trinidadian ISIS fighters.

“For several years, a number of citizens of Trinidad and Tobago in Syria received money transfers through Ali,” the Department said.

In the summer of 2015, it said Ali lived at an ISIS guest house in Syria and had been assigned to Raqqah, Syria.

The department said Aleong was designated for “assisting in, sponsoring, or providing financial, material, or technological support for, or financial or other services to or in support of ISIS.”

As of March 2018, Trinidad-based Aleong facilitated money transfers to ISIS members in ISIS-controlled territory, the Treasury Department said.

As of January 2017, it said a Trinidadian ISIS supporter “possibly planned to work with Eddie Aleong, to transfer funds to Emraan Ali, who would then provide the funds to Trinidadian ISIS fighters in Syria.”

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