Move to freeze 2 Trini ISIS agents’ assets

By Trinidad Guardian

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(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.

This article was posted in its entirety as received by This media house does not correct any spelling or grammatical error within press releases and commentaries. The views expressed therein are not necessarily those of, its sponsors or advertisers.

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