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Somalia: US Targets Smugglers Supplying Islamic State In Somalia


All Africa

Somalia: US Targets Smugglers Supplying Islamic State In Somalia

By Jeff Seldin

Washington — The United States is trying to curb the flow of weapons to the Islamic State terror group's affiliate in Somalia, taking aim at a smuggling operation that is also helping to arm its al-Qaida-linked rival, al-Shabab, with weapons from Iran.

The U.S. Treasury Department Tuesday announced sanctions against eight individuals and one company all involved in the yearslong effort to smuggle millions of dollars of weapons between Yemen and Somalia.

Among those targeted are Abdirahman Fahiye, believed to lead IS-Somalia's day-to-day operations, Mohamed Ahmed Qahiye, who heads IS-Somalia's intelligence wing, and Isse Mohamoud Yusuf, a former pirate who continues to run weapons on behalf of IS.

The sanctions "take direct aim at the networks funding and supplying both ISIS-Somalia and al-Shabab," Brian Nelson, the undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said in a statement, using another acronym for the IS affiliate.

"The involvement of those designated [Tuesday] in other criminal activity, including piracy and illegal fishing, demonstrates the extent of ISIS-Somalia's integration with illicit networks and other terrorist organizations operating in the region," Nelson added.

Tuesday's move by the Treasury Department follows an earlier round of sanctions, introduced last month, aimed at crippling al-Shabab's ability to raise money.

The new sanctions, though, focus on smugglers and terror leaders said to be enmeshed in IS-Somalia, despite current or past ties to al-Shabab, links to al-Qaida's affiliate in Yemen or links to Iran.

Full story https://allafrica.com/stories/202211020061.html


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