Sanctions Target Money Laundering Network for Al-Shabaab – Details

The US Department of the Treasury announced yesterday, Monday, the imposition of sanctions on an international network for money laundering and fundraising for the terrorist group “Al-Shabaab.” In a statement, it said that the sanctions targeted 16 entities and individuals in the Horn of Africa region and other countries.

This new action comes after US sanctions in October 2022 targeted a separate network linked to Al-Shabaab, resulting in the freezing of any assets in the United States belonging to the targets and prohibiting Americans from dealing with them.

The department continued that Al-Shabaab, which Washington considers a terrorist group, earns over $100 million annually, some of it through extortion of local businesses.

Linked to Al-Qaeda, the Al-Shabaab movement has been rebelling against the Somali government since 2006 in an attempt to establish rule based on a strict interpretation of Islamic Sharia law.

Meanwhile, US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said in a statement, “The threat posed by Al-Shabaab is not limited to Somalia,” adding, “Al-Shabaab‘s revenues flow to other Al-Qaeda-linked groups worldwide and help fund Al-Qaeda’s global ambitions to commit terrorist acts and undermine good governance.”

On the ground, three members of the Al-Shabaab-affiliated group were killed on Monday in an army operation in the Lower Shabelle region in the south of the country.

The Somali state news agency SONNA reported that “the military operation, which took place in areas belonging to the Lower Shabelle region, targeted a gathering of movement members planning a terrorist operation,” noting that “it resulted in the destruction of the explosives they were preparing.”

It mentioned that “the Somali army is conducting military operations to pursue the remnants of the Kharijite militias in areas belonging to the Hirshabelle, Galmudug (center), and Jubaland (south) states, where these operations have resulted in severe losses among the terrorists.”

According to official media, the Somali army has intensified its military operations in recent days, preparing for a new round of the military campaign against Al-Shabaab in the southern regions, after weakening its field and military strength in the central regions.

For years, the Somali government has been waging a war against the Al-Shabaab movement, which was founded in early 2004, follows Al-Qaeda, and has carried out bombings that killed civilians, soldiers, and police officers.

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