New Delhi: The United States has designated 20 individuals and 29 companies as being operatives and facilitators for the terror groups, Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and al-Qa’ida in the Indian Ocean state of Maldives.
The announcement by the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) stated that several of the individuals designed have 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. 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,” said the Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E Nelson on Monday.
After the US government’s action, all property and interests in the property of the designated persons that are in the US or in control of US nationals are blocked.
“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,” said the OFAC press note.
The listed individuals include members of an ISIS-affiliated cell in Maldives’ second largest city, Addu City, that had “attempted to carry out terror plots since at least 2018, including attacks utilising improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles”.
Besides, three individuals were in an ISIS-aligned criminal gang Kuda Henveyru that “carried out organised large-scale robberies to generate finances” for Maldivians fighting in Syria. All of them were described also as having “played a critical role in obtaining funding to support ISIS’s activities abroad”. They also helped to recruit members to go to Syria and other conflict zones.
Two Al-Qa’id operatives in Maldives, with their six companies, were also involved in financing and facilitating the travel of Maldivians to Syria. One of them, Ahmed Agleel, was also involved in the 2014 killing of a well-known Maldivian journalist.