The US Treasury Department today added three “key terrorist financiers” to its list of Specially Global Terrorists; two of them support the Al Nusrah Front and the other is an Islamic State financier/facilitator. All three terrorists are linked to Kuwait.
The two Al Nusrah Front financiers/facilitators, Shafi Sultan Mohammed al-Ajmi and Hajjaj Fahd Hajjaj Muhammad Sahib al-‘Ajmi, “are Kuwait-based,” Treasury stated. The Islamic State financier/facilitator, ‘Abd al-Rahman Khalaf ‘Ubayd Juday’ al-‘Anizi, has been involved with al Qaeda since 2008, transfers funds from Kuwait to Syria, has helped move fighters from Kuwait to Afghanistan, and has worked with “Iran-based al Qaeda facilitators.” [For more on al Qaeda’s network in Iran, see LWJ reports, Treasury targets Iran’s ‘secret deal’ with al Qaeda, Treasury: Iranian intelligence supporting al Qaeda, Report: Senior al Qaeda facilitator ‘back on the street’ in Iran, and Treasury Department identifies another Iran-based facilitator for al Qaeda.]
Treasury stated that “ANF [Al Nusrah Front] and ISIL [Islamic State] continue to receive donations from private citizens located predominantly in the Arabian Peninsula to fund their operations.”
Additionally, Treasury took the unusual step of directly calling out the Kuwaiti government for failing to disrupt the jihadist support network.
“We and our international partners, including the Kuwaiti government, need to act more urgently and effectively to disrupt these terrorist financing efforts,” Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David S. Cohen is quoted as saying in the press release.
Details on the three financiers/facilitators from the Treasury press release:
Shafi Sultan Mohammed al-Ajmi
Al-Ajmi operates regular social media campaigns seeking donations for Syrian fighters and is one of the most active Kuwaiti fundraisers for ANF. In July 2014, he publicly admitted that he collected money under the auspices of charity and delivered the funds in person to ANF. Al-Ajmi also acknowledged purchasing and smuggling arms on behalf of ANF.
Hajjaj Fahd Hajjaj Muhammad Shabib al-‘Ajmi
Hajjaj Al-‘Ajmi serves as a funnel for financial donations to ANF facilitators in Syria, traveling regularly from Kuwait to Syria to engage in financial activity on behalf of ANF and deliver money to the group. He agreed to provide financial support to ANF in exchange for installing Kuwaitis in ANF leadership positions. In early January 2014, he offered ANF money to lead a battlefield campaign in Homs, Syria.
‘Abd al-Rahman Khalaf ‘Ubayd Juday’ al-‘Anizi
Since at least 2008, al-‘Anizi worked with a senior ISIL facilitator and ISIL financial official to transfer funds from Kuwait to Syria. He also worked with an ISIL facilitator to pay for the travel of foreign fighters moving from Syria to Iraq. Al-‘Anizi worked to smuggle several foreign fighters from Kuwait to Afghanistan, likely to join al Qaeda and was involved in extremist facilitation activities with Iran-based al Qaeda facilitators, including the movement of extremists to Afghanistan via Iran.