Move to freeze 2 Trini ISIS agents’ assets

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Move to freeze 2 Trini ISIS agents’ assets

(TRINIDAD GUARDIAN) – Two T&T na­tion­als, iden­ti­fied as Em­raan Ali and Ed­die Ale­ong, have been des­ig­nat­ed by the Unit­ed States and sanc­tioned for be­ing fi­nanciers of the ISIS ter­ror net­work, as re­gion­al­ly co-or­di­nat­ed in­ves­ti­ga­tions seek out cer­tain tar­gets be­tween T&T, Suri­name and oth­er ar­eas.

High-lev­el lo­cal of­fi­cials lead­ing T&T’s ef­fort in the re­gion­al mat­ter spoke about the sit­u­a­tion af­ter the US De­part­ment of Trea­sury’s Of­fice of For­eign As­sets Con­trol (OFAC) yes­ter­day des­ig­nat­ed and sanc­tioned Ali and Ale­ong.

The sanc­tion an­nounce­ment came via press re­lease from the US De­part­ment of the Trea­sury (US­DT).

The re­lease said Ale­ong, 38, was based in T&T is al­so known as “Ish­mael Mo­hammed,” “Ish­mail Muhammed” and “Is­ma’il Ali Yong” while Ali, 51, was based in Syr­ia.

It said: “As of March 2018, Trinidad-based Ale­ong fa­cil­i­tat­ed mon­ey trans­fers to ISIS mem­bers in ISIS-con­trolled ter­ri­to­ry. As of Jan­u­ary 2017, a Trinida­di­an ISIS sup­port­er pos­si­bly planned to work with Ed­die Ale­ong, to trans­fer funds to Em­raan Ali, who would then pro­vide the funds to Trinida­di­an ISIS fight­ers in Syr­ia.”

As a re­sult of yes­ter­day’s ac­tion, all prop­er­ty and in­ter­ests in prop­er­ty of the two men, sub­ject to US ju­ris­dic­tion, are blocked and US per­sons are pro­hib­it­ed from en­gag­ing in trans­ac­tions with them, the US­DT stat­ed.

The des­ig­na­tions of the two were part of the US gov­ern­ment’s on­go­ing ef­forts to dis­rupt ISIS-re­lat­ed fi­nan­cial ac­tiv­i­ties around the globe. The US­DT said while coali­tion ef­forts have led to the col­lapse of ISIS’s self-de­clared caliphate, the Trea­sury con­tin­ues to “ag­gres­sive­ly tar­get fi­nanciers sup­port­ing ISIS’s rad­i­cal agen­da.”

The US­DT des­ig­nat­ed Ali for act­ing for/on be­half of ISIS. He was de­scribed by the de­part­ment as a “Syr­ia-based, dual US and Trinida­di­an na­tion­al.” It said Ali has been in­volved in mon­ey trans­fers from T&T to Syr­ia in sup­port of ISIS.

“As of Jan­u­ary 2017, Ali would re­ceive and pro­vide funds to Trinida­di­an ISIS fight­ers. For sev­er­al years, a num­ber of cit­i­zens of Trinidad and To­ba­go in Syr­ia re­ceived mon­ey trans­fers through Ali. In the sum­mer of 2015, Ali lived at an ISIS guest house in Syr­ia and had been as­signed to Raqqah, Syr­ia.”

The US­DT said Ale­ong was des­ig­nat­ed for “as­sist­ing in, spon­sor­ing, or pro­vid­ing fi­nan­cial, ma­te­r­i­al, or tech­no­log­i­cal sup­port for, or fi­nan­cial or oth­er ser­vices to or in sup­port of ISIS.”

Trea­sury Un­der Sec­re­tary for Ter­ror­ism and Fi­nan­cial In­tel­li­gence Si­gal Man­delk­er added, “We’re sanc­tion­ing in­di­vid­u­als in­volved in fi­nan­cial fa­cil­i­ta­tion to ob­struct and de­ter ISIS fi­nan­cial op­er­a­tions in re­gions across the world.”

T&T of­fi­cials work­ing on the mat­ter told T&T Guardian last evening that while Ali was said to be based in Syr­ia, Ale­ong, who was de­scribed as Trinidad- based, is not in cus­tody. Both cas­es are un­der “ac­tive man­age­ment” by T&T’s An­ti Ter­ror­ism Unit and the Fi­nan­cial In­tel­li­gence Bu­reau (FIB), they said. They added that the re­gion­al in­ves­ti­ga­tion in­volves T&T, Suri­name and oth­er play­ers and has been on­go­ing “very care­ful­ly for many months.”

The T&T of­fi­cials said the des­ig­na­tions re­sult­ed from amend­ments to T&T’s an­ti-ter­ror­ism law which were pro­claimed a month ago and whose op­er­a­tional­i­sa­tion gave T&T the abil­i­ty to act on sus­pect­ed ter­ror­ists/fi­nanciers in a re­gion­al­ly co-or­di­nat­ed way. The amend­ments al­low Gov­ern­ment to re­ceive re­quests on be­half of oth­er coun­tries re­gard­ing records of a case, which is probed.

Con­tact­ed on the is­sue last evening, At­tor­ney Gen­er­al Faris Al-Rawi con­firmed the on­go­ing probe.

“Fol­low­ing a re­quest from and ev­i­dence pro­vid­ed by T&T, one ju­ris­dic­tion has now des­ig­nat­ed two in­di­vid­u­als in ac­cor­dance with UN Se­cu­ri­ty Coun­cil Res­o­lu­tion 1373, freez­ing their as­sets.

“Amend­ments to our an­ti-ter­ror­ism law pre­scribe a par­tic­u­lar course in these mat­ters. I can con­firm, the An­ti-Ter­ror­ism desk of the AG’s of­fice is en­gaged in all such ac­tion as it should be,” Al-Rawi said.

This morn­ing the US Em­bassy will present the Fi­nan­cial In­tel­li­gence Unit (FIU) with equip­ment to as­sist in prob­ing sus­pi­cious trans­ac­tions.

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