Designated al Qaeda facilitator operates gemstone business based in Australia

The U.S. government today added Ahmed Luqman Talib to its list of designated terrorists. Talib is an alleged al Qaeda facilitator who operates a gemstone business based in Australia. That business, Talib and Sons, has also been designated.

Talib has provided material assistance or support to al Qaeda, according to the U.S. Treasury Department. Talib “is involved in operational and facilitation activities on behalf of al Qaeda-linked groups, including providing assistance in the movement of individuals and finances internationally in furtherance of al Qaeda objectives,” Treasury claims.

Talib’s “dealings” have stretched across “a number of countries” and his gemstone business gives him the “ability to move funds internationally for the benefit of al Qaeda.”

The identifying information produced by Treasury indicates that Talib was born on February 12, 1990 in Birmingham, United Kingdom. An Australian national, Talib carries a passport from his home country, as well as one from Venezuela. Treasury says he “conducts business” in “Brazil, Colombia, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Turkey, and the Gulf,” among other locales. Treasury’s identifying information places him in Qatar as well.

A quick online search turns up Australian news reports saying that an individual with the same name took part in the 2010 flotilla, in which several ships attempted to break an Israeli blockade of Gaza. The Sydney Morning Herald reported that Ahmed Luqman Talib, a 20-year-old at the time, was wounded when Israeli forces stormed the Mavi Marmara. Nine others were killed during the raid. FDD’s Long War Journal has not confirmed that it is the same individual, and this article will be updated should further information become available.

Echoing the Treasury Department’s language, the State Department released a statement from Secretary Mike Pompeo. Talib “is involved in operational and facilitation activities on behalf of Al Qaeda, in furtherance of AQ objectives,” the statement from Pompeo reads.

Thomas Joscelyn is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Senior Editor for FDD's Long War Journal.

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