May 24, 2023

OFAC targets individuals and entities associated with al-Shabaab and the Somali charcoal trade

The Office of Foreign Assets Control of the US Department of the Treasury has designated financial facilitators and operatives associated with al-Shabaab, a terrorist group operating in Somalia that was designated by the US Department of State in March 2008, by OFAC, the European Union and others.

Included among the fifteen individuals designated by OFAC are an al-Shabaab senior finance officer and regional donations collector whose efforts have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to support weapons procurement and terrorist activities; political and operational commanders who have kidnapped and imprisoned civilians, planned military operations, and provided logistics support to al-Shabaab; and a local governor responsible for disseminating pro-al-Shabaab propaganda.  These individuals were designated pursuant to the counterterrorism authority of the US Treasury under Executive Order 13224, as amended.  Concurrent with these designations and pursuant to the same authority, the US Department of State designated five al-Shabaab leaders.

In addition to these individuals, OFAC designated four charcoal smugglers and seven associated companies pursuant to Executive Order 13536, as amended, for threatening the peace, security or stability of Somalia.  The export and import of Somali charcoal was banned after February 2012 by United Nations Security Council Resolution 2036 because of the important revenue generated by the illegal trade in charcoal and its contribution to local conflicts, terrorist groups like al-Shabaab, deforestation and environmental damage.

As a result of these designations, all property and interests in property of the twenty-six 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.

US Dept of the Treasury press release