Sunday, February 25, 2024

Treasury Designates Leaders and Financial Facilitators of ISIS and al-Qa’ida Cells in Maldives

WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated key leaders and financial facilitators of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and al-Qa’ida in Maldives, including 20 ISIS, ISIS-Khorasan (ISIS-K), and al-Qa’ida operatives. OFAC also designated 29 companies associated with the individuals sanctioned today, who include leaders of Maldives-based terrorist-affiliated criminal gangs and associates of key ISIS-K recruiter Mohamad Ameen who was designated by OFAC in 2019. Several of the individuals being designated today have also planned or carried out attacks that targeted journalists and local authorities.

“Treasury’s actions today against ISIS and al-Qa’ida operatives and facilitators continue our efforts to help prevent and disrupt financial and other support for terrorist attacks globally,” said Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson. “The United States is committed to denying funding and resources to these terrorist support networks and countering the threats they pose both locally and internationally.”

Today’s action targeting key ISIS facilitators and fundraisers follows recent Treasury designations of other critical nodes in ISIS’ global network. Most recently, on July 27, Treasury designated an ISIS-Somalia finance leader to disrupt ISIS’ ability to generate, store, and move funds. These individuals and entities are being designated pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, as amended, which targets terrorist groups and their supporters.

ADDU CITY CELL and Key members

The Addu City cell is an ISIS-affiliated cell based in Addu City, Maldives, that has attempted to carry out terror plots since at least 2018, including attacks utilizing improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Jinaau Naseem (Naseem), the self-proclaimed emir, or leader, of the Addu City cell, has been in direct communication with ISIS-K and has provided financial support to Maldivian ISIS foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs) in Syria. Mohamed Thasleem (Thasleem) has worked with Ameen to provide guidance for the Addu City cell’s terrorist operations. Thasleem was extensively involved in at least one of the cell’s attempted attack plots. Thasleem is also connected to another ISIS-affiliated cell that attempted to assassinate the former President of Maldives. 

Faris Mohamed Didi (Didi)and Ali Nihadh (Nihadh) are members of the Addu City cell’s operational team. In 2022, Didi was involved in an IED attack plot by the cell in addition to producing ISIS propaganda. Syria-based ISIS officials have previously attempted to facilitate the travel of Didi to Syria. Nihadh has been involved in multiple attempts of the Addu City cell to conduct terrorist attacks. Mohamed Naushad Shareef (Naushad Shareef) has served as a member of the ISIS-affiliated Addu City cell. Naushad Shareef has encouraged the cell to conduct terrorist attacks and was involved in attempted attacks using IEDs. Sky Nova Investment and New Sun Investments Pvt Ltd are owned or controlled by Naushad Shareef.

Jinaau Naseem, Mohamed Thasleem, Faris Mohamed Didi, Ali Nihadh, and Mohamed Naushad Shareef are being designated pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended, for having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, ISIS, a person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to E.O. 13224. Sky Nova Investment and New Sun Investments Pvt Ltd are being designated for being owned, controlled, or directed by, directly or indirectly, Mohamed Naushad Shareef, a person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended.

ISIS-affiliated CRIMINAL GANG and leaders

Ahmed Alif Rauf (Alif), Mohamed Inthif Rauf (Inthif), and Ibrahim Aleef Rauf (Ibrahim) lead the ISIS-aligned, Maldives-based criminal gang Kuda Henveyru. The Kuda Henveyru gang has attempted to fundraise for Maldivian ISIS FTFs in Syria and has carried out organized large-scale robberies to generate finances. Alif, Inthif, and Ibrahim have all played a critical role in obtaining funding to support ISIS’s activities abroad. Specifically, Alif and Ameen have been in direct contact with each other regarding ISIS coordination in Maldives. Alif has used Kuda Henveyru to recruit and radicalize young men who are then sent to conflict zones.

Maldives-based companies Street Investments Pvt Ltd, Street Motor Services, and White Beach Watersports Pvt Ltd are owned or controlled by Alif. Ibrahim manages Kuda Henveyru’s finances and has generated funding through criminal activities. Ibrahim has additionally facilitated the travel of Kuda Henveyru members to conflict zones for engagement in militant activities. Maldives-based companies Baum Pvt Ltd and Maroc International Pvt Ltd are owned or controlled by Inthif.

Ahmed Alif Rauf, Mohamed Inthif Rauf, and Ibrahim Aleef Rauf are being designated pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended, for having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, ISIS, a person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to E.O. 13224. Street Investments Pvt Ltd, Street Motor Services, and White Beach Watersports Pvt Ltd are being designated for being owned, controlled, or directed by, directly or indirectly, Ahmed Alif Rauf, a person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended. Baum Pvt Ltd and Maroc International Pvt Ltd are being designated for being owned, controlled, or directed by, directly or indirectly, Mohamed Inthif Rauf, a person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended.

ASSOCIATES OF ISIS-K Recruiter MOHAMAD AMEEN

Abdulla Ali Manik (Manik) is an ISIS-aligned operative linked to several terrorist plots in Maldives and maintains direct contact with Ameen and several of his associates. In 2020, Manik carried out a knife attack that was later claimed by ISIS as well as a separate attack also claimed by ISIS that targeted the former President of Maldives and speaker of the Maldivian parliament. Since at least 2007, Manik has contributed to radicalization and recruited individuals in prison. Moosa Inas (Inas) was involved in an early 2020 ISIS attack targeting police vessels at Mahibadhoo harbor, Maldives. As of early 2022, ISIS-K had appointed Abdulla Shareef (Shareef) as the ISIS emir in Maldives. Shareef, operating under ISIS-K’s directions, was also in direct contact with ISIS leadership in Syria and Iraq. Maldives-based company Multi Construction Pvt Ltd is owned or controlled by Shareef.

Hussain Shamil (Shamil) has helped Ameen recruit individuals in Male, Maldives. Shamil has played an important role in the recruitment and radicalization of Maldivian youth for travel to Syria, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. Maldives-based companies Larosa and Al Athmaar are owned or controlled by Shamil. Ahmed Mubeen (Mubeen) has also assisted Ameen in his recruitment efforts. As senior Maldivian ISIS members, Ameen, Shamil, and Mubeen have counselled individuals interested in travelling to conflict zones, including Syria, to participate as FTFs. Maldives-based company 3ZED Investment is owned or controlled by Mubeen. Ameen Ahmed (Ahmed) has recruited vulnerable gang members to participate in the Syrian conflict. Ahmed has also expressed a desire to fight for ISIS. Previously, he possessed instructions for bomb-making and poison-making. Maldives-based companies Inma Maldives and Jazeerat Almaldifi are owned or controlled by Ahmed. 

Yoosuf Shaheed (Shaheed) is an ISIS supporter who has recruited and facilitated the travel of Maldivian FTFs to Syria. Maldives-based company Dhawi Pvt Ltd is owned or controlled by Shaheed and Ahmed Afraah (Afraah). Afraah has sent nearly $1,000 to a leader of Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD), an ISIS-affiliated terrorist group in Indonesia. Separately, Afraah has also sent thousands of dollars to a Türkiye-based ISIS intermediary. Maldives-based companies Dhawi Pvt Ltd, SIAS Investment Pvt Ltd, and Fruit Plus Maldives Pvt Ltd are owned or controlled by Afraah and Code A Partnership is owned or controlled by Afraah and Ameen. Mohamed Maathiu Abdul Razzaq (Razzaq) is an associate of Ameen. Maldives-based company Green Birds is owned or controlled by Razzaq.

In late 2018, Ali Shafiu (Shafiu) traveled through Pakistan to Afghanistan to join ISIS-K and had previously attempted to go to Syria in 2015. Shafiu, as recently as 2022, was a part of ISIS-K’s media office. Ameen had previously selected Shafiu as the Maldivian representative to ISIS-K leadership in Afghanistan. Maldives-based company Panda Maldives Pvt Ltd is owned or controlled by Shafiu and Al Athmaar is owned or controlled by Shamil and Shafiu.

Abdulla Ali Manik, Moosa Inas, Abdulla Shareef, Hussain Shamil, Ahmed Mubeen, Ameen Ahmed, Yoosuf Shaheed, Ahmed Afraah, and Mohamed Maathiu Abdul Razzaq, are being designated pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended, for having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, ISIS, a person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to E.O. 13224. Ali Shafiu is being designated pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended, for having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, ISIS-K, a person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to E.O. 13224.

Multi Construction Pvt Ltd is being designated for being owned, controlled, or directed by, directly or indirectly, Abdulla Shareef, a person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended. Larosa and Al Athmaar are being designated for being owned, controlled, or directed by, directly or indirectly, Hussain Shamil, a person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended. 3ZED Investment is being designated for being owned, controlled, or directed by, directly or indirectly, Ahmed Mubeen, a person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended. Inma Maldives and Jazeerat Almaldifi are being designated for being owned, controlled, or directed by, directly or indirectly, Ameen Ahmed, a person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended.

Dhawi Pvt Ltd is being designated for being owned, controlled, or directed by, directly or indirectly, Yoosuf Shaheed, a person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended. Dhawi Pvt Ltd, SIAS Investment Pvt Ltd, Fruit Plus Maldives Pvt Ltd, and Code A Partnership are being designated for being owned, controlled, or directed by, directly or indirectly, Ahmed Afraah, a person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended. Code A Partnership is being designated for being owned, controlled, or directed by, directly or indirectly, Mohamad Ameen, a person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended. Green Birds is being designated for being owned, controlled, or directed by, directly or indirectly, Mohamed Maathiu Abdul Razzaq, a person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended. 

Panda Maldives Pvt Ltd and Al Athmaar are being designated for being owned, controlled, or directed by, directly or indirectly, Ali Shafiu, a person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended.

AL-QA’IDA OPERATIVES

Ahmed Agleel (Agleel) is the leader of the operational arm of an al-Qa’ida cell based in Maldives that also has ties to al-Nusrah Front. Its members have been involved in facilitating and financing the travel of Maldivian nationals to Syria as FTFs. Agleel was also involved in the 2014 murder of a Maldivian journalist that was carried out by an al-Qa’ida affiliate operating in Maldives. Maldives-based companies Furaha Construction Pvt Ltd, Designer Garage, and Southern Stallions Pvt Ltd are owned or controlled by Agleel.

As of early 2021, Ali Shiyam (Shiyam) was a high-profile terrorist financier aligned with the al-Qa’ida cell operating in Maldives. Shiyam has provided both ideological and financial support to other extremists, including Maldivian FTFs. Shiyam has been a leader of al-Qa’ida in Maldives and has funded the recruitment of FTFs to send to Syria. Maldives-based companies Golden Warriors Investment Pvt Ltd, Vaaly Brothers Pvt Ltd, Syskon Pvt Ltd, Shine. X Investments Pvt Ltd, Eriyadhu Investments Pvt Ltd, Jazeera Properties Pvt Ltd, and Visions Maldives Pvt Ltd are owned or controlled by Shiyam.

Ahmed Agleel and Ali Shiyam are being designated pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended, for having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, al-Qa’ida, a person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to E.O. 13224. Furaha Construction Pvt Ltd, Designer Garage, and Southern Stallions Pvt Ltd are being designated for being owned, controlled, or directed by, directly or indirectly, Ahmed Agleel, a person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended. Golden Warriors Investment Pvt Ltd, Vaaly Brothers Pvt Ltd, Syskon Pvt Ltd, Shine. X Investments Pvt Ltd, Eriyadhu Investments Pvt Ltd, Jazeera Properties Pvt Ltd, and Visions Maldives Pvt Ltd are being designated for being owned, controlled, or directed by, directly or indirectly, Ali Shiyam, a person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended.

SANCTIONS IMPLICATIONS

As a result of today’s action, all property and interests in property of the designated persons described above that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons are blocked and must be reported to OFAC. In addition, any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, individually or in the aggregate, 50 percent or more by one or more blocked persons are also blocked. Unless authorized by a general or specific license issued by OFAC, or exempt, OFAC’s regulations generally prohibit all transactions by U.S. persons or within (or transiting) the United States that involve any property or interests in property of designated or otherwise blocked persons. 

In addition, financial institutions and other persons that engage in certain transactions or activities with the sanctioned entities and individuals may expose themselves to sanctions or be subject to an enforcement action. The prohibitions include the making of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services by, to, or for the benefit of any designated person, or the receipt of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services from any such person. 

Furthermore, engaging in certain transactions with the individuals and entities designated today entails risk of secondary sanctions pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended. Pursuant to this authority, OFAC can prohibit or impose strict conditions on the opening or maintaining in the United States of a correspondent account or a payable-through account of a foreign financial institution that knowingly conducted or facilitated any significant transaction on behalf of a Specially Designated Global Terrorist.

The power and integrity of OFAC sanctions derive not only from OFAC’s ability to designate and add persons to the SDN List, but also from its willingness to remove persons from the SDN List consistent with the law. The ultimate goal of sanctions is not to punish, but to bring about a positive change in behavior. For information concerning the process for seeking removal from an OFAC list, including the SDN List, please refer to OFAC’s Frequently Asked Question 897 here. For detailed information on the process to submit a request for removal from an OFAC sanctions list, please click here.

Click here for more information on the individuals and entities designated today.

###

Official news published at https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/jy1659

target=”_blank”>PixaBay

- Advertisement -Reality tv gossip
- Advertisement -publish press release online
Latest News
Must Read