U.S. slaps sanctions on al-Qaeda-linked duo

Members of the United Nations Security Council vote on a resolution about the ongoing crisis in Iraq at United Nations headquarters in the Manhattan borough of New York August 15, 2014.

Members of the United Nations Security Council vote on a resolution about the ongoing crisis in Iraq at United Nations headquarters in the Manhattan borough of New York August 15, 2014.

The United States imposed sanctions Friday on two Islamic extremists it accuses of ties to al-Qaeda and the al-Nusra Front, alleging they financed and acted on behalf of the terror groups.

Under a designation issued by the U.S. Treasury, any assets the men – Saudi and Kuwaiti nationals – hold under U.S. jurisdiction are frozen and Americans are “generally prohibited from doing business with them.”

Abdul Mohsen Abdallah Ibrahim al Sharekh, allegedly the head of al-Qaeda operations in Syria, and Hamid Hamad Hamid al-Ali were also both placed on a sanctions list by the United Nations Security Council on August 15.

The Treasury’s move came in support of the U.N. action.

“We are determined to stem the flow of funds to terrorists in Syria and Iraq who continue to commit violent acts and threaten US and allied interests in the region,” David Cohen, undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said in a statement.

Al-Sharekh, a Saudi citizen, is described as a Syria-based senior leader of the al-Nusra Front, as well as a key al-Qaeda facilitator, who moved to the war-torn country in the spring of 2013.

Listed as one of Saudi Arabia’s most-wanted terrorists, he previously served as a “key financial facilitator” for al-Qaeda in Pakistan, according to the Treasury.

Al-Ali is accused of raising tens of thousands of dollars to help the al-Nusra Front buy weapons and supplies and also directed donors in his native Kuwait to support the group.

The Treasury, saying he has called himself an “Al-Qaeda commando,” also alleges al-Ali raised money for al-Qaeda and arranged travel for a number of foreign fighters to Syria.

Earlier this month, the United States slapped sanctions on three other men, two of them Kuwaiti, accusing them of providing money, fighters and weapons to extremists in Iraq and Syria.

 
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