US Sanctions Al-Shabab Financial Facilitators

Al-Shabaab militants in Somalia.

The United States unveiled sanctions against Somali militant group Al-Shabaab leaders and the group’s operatives on Monday.

The US Treasury Department published the names of nine terror suspects accused of raising funds, recruiting fighters and obtaining weapons for the Somalia based insurgent group. 

The treasury identified Abdullahi Jeeri as a weapons smuggler for Al- Shabaab who sourced weapons locally and in Yemen.

Jeeri also acts as an interlocutor between the group and businesses, collecting illegal payments on their behalf.  The US says Jeeri is a member of a group’s Shura or Consultative Council.

The treasury department says the al-Qaida-linked group Al-Shabaab collects $100 million per year through illegal taxes on local businesses, individuals, and goods, as well as the facilitation of illegal trades.

The US government also sanctioned Hassan Afgooye, a senior official in al-Shabaab’s Finance Department under Mahad Karate. He was previously the chief of finance and the US has placed a $5 million bounty on his head.

Khalif Adale is another sanctioned Al-Shabaab finance leader. He is accused of collecting money from non-governmental organizations and working directly with the group’s leader, Amir Ahmed Diriye.  

In 2017, Adale assisted in the recruitment of approximately 600 children aged 10 to 15 years to fight for Al Shabaab and aid future operations.  

The US Treasury has also sanctioned Abdirahman Hussein Gagaale. He was the deputy finance official. Ahmed Hussein Ali Sulaiman Mataan, Mohamed Ali Badaas and Mohamed Hussein Salad for their involvement in Al-Shabaab’s smuggling and weapons trafficking network in Yemen. 

The US government accuses Abdi Samad of funding Samad’s university education, including travel and tuition, as well as performing surveillance and research on behalf of Al-Shabaab. Abdirahman Nurey is accused of acting as an intermediary between the group and the private sector. He has also safely stored, transferred, and laundered fiat and digital currency for Al-Shabaab.

The Somali government warned businesspeople on Saturday not to pay money to Al-Shabab. 

Businesses and individuals who fail to comply with the government directive will have their licenses revoked and will be unable to conduct business in the country.