October 18, 2022

OFAC and State Department impose counterterrorism sanctions upon al-Shabaab leaders

On October 17, 2022, the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control designated nine individuals who are leaders of al-Shabaab, a group that pledged allegiance to al-Qa’ida in 2009, became an al-Qa’ida affiliate in 2012, and assists al-Qa’ida with the publication of propaganda.  Al-Qa’ida has also praised the group for carrying out attacks in Somalia and Kenya in recent years.  According to OFAC, the designated individuals are financial facilitators in al-Shabaad who are also members of a network which engaged in weapons procurement, financial facilitation and recruitment activities for the group.  OFAC reports that the designees have served as key interlocutors between al-Shabaab and local companies in Somalia and have been in direct contact with previously-designated al-Shabaab officials.  OFAC’s designations were imposed under the counterterrorism authority, Executive Order 13224, as amended.  

The OFAC designations coincide with additional sanctions imposed by the State Department, which designated five al-Shabaab leaders as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs) under EO 13224, as amended, for their roles in the coordination and planning of al-Shabaab attack operations, including US military compounds in Kenya.

As a result these designations, all property and interests in property of these designees within the United States or within the possession or control of a US person are blocked, and US persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions involving the designated persons. In addition, entities owned 50 percent or more by a designated person or entity are also blocked, and foreign financial institutions that knowingly conduct significant transactions for the designated entities risk exposure to sanctions.

Department of Treasury Press Release