US sanctions alleged Iran-centered Qaeda network

The US Treasury named Iran-based Ezedine
Abdel Aziz Khalil, aka Yasin al-Sura, as a
“senior Al-Qaeda facilitator”
© AFP/File Karen Bleier


WASHINGTON (AFP) – The United States on Wednesday announced sanctions on six men accused of operating a network which moves Al-Qaeda operatives and money through Iran.

The US Treasury named Iran-based Ezedine Abdel Aziz Khalil, aka Yasin al-Sura, as a “senior Al-Qaeda facilitator” who has operated from inside Iran since 2005 “under an agreement between Al-Qaeda and the Iranian government.”

Khalil moves Qaeda money and recruits from across the Middle East through Iran and then to Pakistan “for the benefit of Al-Qaeda senior leaders,” the Treasury said in a statement.

Pakistan-based Atiyah Abd al-Rahman, formerly Al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden’s “emissary in Iran,” according to the Treasury, was also named on the list. Rahman is currently Qaeda’s overall commander in Pakistan’s tribal areas, it said.

Four others — Umid Muhammadi, Salim Hasan Khalifa Rashid al-Kuwari, Abdallah Ghanim Mafuz Muslim al-Khawar, and Ali Hasan Ali al-Ajmi — were also named as part the operation working through and in Iran, the Treasury said.

“This network serves as the core pipeline through which Al-Qaeda moves money, facilitators and operatives from across the Middle East to South Asia,” it said.

The Treasury did not say where Muhammadi is based, but said he was a “key supporter” of Al-Qaeda in Iraq.

It said Kuwari and Khawar are based in Qatar, while Ajmi is based in Kuwait.

The sanctions mean the American people and businesses are forbidden to engage in commercial of financial transactions with any of the men, and that any of their assets in the United States are frozen.

© AFP — Published at Activist Post with license

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