Washington blacklists alleged ISIS backer

Treasury announces sanctions against money exchanges in Iraq and Syria and an individual financier accused of funneling cash to ISIS.

Ben Ariel ,

ISIS flag
ISIS flag

The United States on Tuesday announced financial sanctions against money exchanges in Iraq and Syria and an individual financier, all accused by American authorities of funneling cash to the Islamic State (ISIS) group, AFP reports.

Iraqi authorities have also moved to freeze assets tied to the individual and two companies accused of moving large volumes of cash to the militant organization and its fighters, the Treasury Department said in a statement.

"These are the first U.S. actions specifically targeting ISIL-affiliated money services businesses and we will continue to work aggressively to deny ISIL access to the international financial system," said acting Under-Secretary Adam Szubin, the Treasury's top counter-terrorism official, using an alternative acronym for ISIS.

The sanctioned entities include Selselat al-Thahab Money Exchange Company of Iraq, which allegedly moved ISIS money from last year until at least April.

The company processed money transfers for a known ISIS financier and conducted more than 100 transfers into IS territory, according to the Treasury.

Washington also slapped sanctions on Fawaz Muhammad Jubayr al-Rawi, an alleged senior ISIS financier, and Hanifa Currency Exchange, the company he owned and operated near his home in Albu Kamal, Syria.

Active as recently as May, Al-Rawi allegedly used the company solely for ISIS-related transactions and is suspected of facilitating payments to the jihadist group’s fighters as well as hosting ISIS leaders at his farm.

Last February, the Treasury blacklisted three people for working for ISIS, including a Palestinian Arab accused of trying to establish a foothold for the group in Gaza.

The sanctions against the Gazan man were noteworthy as they had followed reports which indicated that the Hamas terrorist organization which rules Gaza and ISIS had intensified their mutual cooperation.