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US sanctions target Hamas, Islamic State ahead of 9/11 anniversary

The sanctions were applied using Trump’s modernised counterterrorism Executive Order [AFP]

Date of publication: 11 September, 2019

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A list of 15 leaders, individuals and entities affiliated with groups such as Hamas, al Qaeda, the Islamic State militant group and Iran’s IRGC were targeted by US sanctions.

A number of individuals and groups were targeted by US sanctions on Tuesday, Washington announced, on the eve of the 18th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.

A list of 15 leaders, individuals and entities affiliated with groups such as Hamas, al Qaeda, the Islamic State militant group and Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps were named among the US Treasury Department's new sanctions list of a “wide range of terrorists and their supporters”.

The sanctions were applied using new tools from an executive order recently updated by US President Donald Trump, Reuters reported.

“Since the horrific attacks of 9/11, the US government has refocused its counterterrorism efforts to constantly adapt to emerging threats,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in the statement.

“President Trump’s modernised counterterrorism Executive Order enhances the authorities we use to target the finances of terror groups and their leaders to ensure they are as robust as possible,” Mnuchin said.

Leaders including Turkey-based Zaher Jabarin, the head of Hamas’s financial office; and Muhammad Sa’id Izadi, the chief of the IRGC-Quds Force’s Palestinian office in Lebanon were among those listed.

Meanwhile, Maldivian national in Brazil who recruits for the Islamic State branch active in Afghanistan, as well as an operative of the Islamic State affiliate in the Philippines were also named in the statement.

However, a number of exchange houses and a jewellery company in southern Turkey, also made the list.

The move assures all property owned by those listed in the US would be blocked, while American nationals would be prohibited from having business dealings with them.

Oman and Lebanon

Last month, the US treasury sanctioned banks and individuals in Oman and Lebanon over alleged links to Hezbollah and Hamas, both of which have fought wars against Israel.

Measures were taken against the Jammal Trust Bank in Lebanon, which was accused of acting as a key financial wing for Lebanese Shia movement Hezbollah.

Individuals in Oman were also targeted by te US government for allegedly acting as middlemen to funnel cash from Iran's Quds Force to Hamas in Gaza.

The US Treasury said on Twitter it was targeting "terror group Hizballah's Lebanon-based bank of choice, Jammal Trust Bank, for knowingly providing support to the group via Hizballah's Executive Council and Iran's Martyrs Foundation, which funnels money to the families of suicide bombers".

It added that it was targeting "facilitators funneling tens of millions of dollars from Iran’s Qods Force to HAMAS for terrorist attacks. This Administration will not falter to hold HAMAS & its Iranian leaders accountable for their violence" in the tweet.

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