FROM THE OFFICE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS
October 13, 2004
Treasury Designates Global Network, Senior Officials of IARA for Supporting bin Laden, Others
The U.S. Department of the Treasury today designated the worldwide network of the Islamic African Relief Agency (IARA), along with five senior officials, pursuant to E.O. 13224. This action blocks all accounts, funds and assets of IARA in the United States and criminalizes the provision of money or other types of support to any of its offices.
"This is an excellent example of how U.S. Government agencies coordinate their efforts to achieve the maximum impact against supporters of terrorism. The Treasury Department has been working closely with its colleagues in other agencies to ensure that, as a government, we do everything possible to shut down the flow of money to terrorists," said Stuart Levey, Treasury's Under Secretary for the Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence (TFI).
Islamic Africa Relief Agency (IARA)
IARA is headquartered in Khartoum , Sudan and maintains over 40 offices throughout the world, including in the United States .
AKAs: IARA, Islamic Relief Agency, ISRA, Islamic American Relief Agency, Al-Wakala al-Islamiya l'il-Ighatha , Al-Wakala al-Islamiya al-Afrikia l'il-Ighatha
IARA Support for Usama bin Laden (UBL), al Qaida and the Taliban
IARA is identified as a non-governmental organization (NGO) formerly affiliated with Maktab Al-Khidamat (MK), which was co-founded and financed by UBL and is the precursor organization of al Qaida.
Information available to the U.S. indicates that international offices of IARA provided direct financial support for UBL. IARA, MK and UBL commingled funds and cooperated closely in the raising and expenditure of funds. IARA engaged in a joint program with an institute controlled by UBL that was involved in providing assistance to Taliban fighters.
In 2000, one of IARA's Afghanistan leaders accompanied the Afghanistan MK leader on a fundraising trip to Sudan and other locations in the Middle East during which $5 million was raised for MK activities.
Information available to the U.S. shows that the overseas branches IARA provided hundreds of thousands of dollars to UBL in 1999. In 1997, there was an individual who acted as a liaison between UBL and terrorist-related NGOs, distributing funds from UBL to MK, IARA and others. Later that year, IARA and MK reportedly provided financial support for a group of Arab terrorists planning to travel to Saudi Arabia to conduct unspecified operations against U.S. military personnel.
Additionally, information identifies a UBL lieutenant and former MK official as having been the director of IARA's operations in Afghanistan . This individual was identified as an expert in terrorism, bomb planning and guerilla operations.
Information indicates an IARA leader was involved in discussions to help relocate UBL to secure safe harbor for him. Among others, these discussions included representatives for UBL and MK, along with Lajnat al-Dawa (LDI), which is listed as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist pursuant to E.O. 13224, as well as listed by the UN 1267 Sanctions Committee. In addition, a Sudanese individual traveled to Mali and stayed with an IARA director while assessing whether Mali could serve as a safe harbor for UBL.
IARA Support for Hamas
As of early 2003, information available to the U.S. shows that IARA was responsible for moving funds to the Palestinian territories for use in terrorist activities, notably serving as a conduit to Hamas in one Western European country. In part, funds were raised through IARA collection boxes marked "Allah" and " Israel ," signaling the funds would be directed towards attacks against Israelis.
Within the last year, IARA was reportedly linked to the Belgium office of the Al-Aqsa Foundation, a Specially Designated Global Terrorist, pursuant to E.O. 13224.
IARA Support for Al-Ittihad al-Islamiya (AIAI)
IARA offered financial support for the development of AIAI, which is listed as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist, pursuant to E.O. 13224, as well as listed by the UN 1267 Sanctions Committee.
Jaffar Ahmad Abdullah Makki
Abdul Aziz Abbakar Muhamad
Abbakar Muhamad was identified as one of several individuals involved in IARA's terrorist support operations in South Asia. This support was provided to al Qaida, Gammat al Islamiya and the Taliban and reportedly included money, supplies and housing for terrorists in South Asia. He previously served as the Executive Director of the IARA operating from Afghanistan.
Khalid Ahmad Jumah Al-Sudani
Buisir, originally from Libya, has been IARA's representative in Ireland. Following the 9-11 terrorist attacks, Buisir was arrested by local authorities based on evidence that he provided financial support for the al Qaida network. Information available to the U.S shows that Buisir directed a European al Qaida cell that provided support to operations in Europe by arranging travel and accommodations.
The entities were designated today pursuant to Executive Order 13224 pursuant to paragraphs (d)(i) and (d)(ii) based on a determination that they assist in, sponsor or provide financial, material, or technological support for, or financial or other services to or in support of, or are otherwise associated with, persons listed as subject to E.O. 13224.
Blocking actions are critical to combating the financing of terrorism. When a target is blocked, all of its assets in the formal financial system must be frozen and it can no longer operate as a conduit to move money to illicit purposes. This, in turn, forces terrorist networks to rely on alternative, more costly and higher-risk means of financing their activities. Blocking actions also expose money trails that may point to previously unknown terrorist cells and financiers and serve as a deterrent to other would-be financiers or donors.
The United States has designated 393 individuals and entities as terrorists, their financiers or facilitators. In addition, the global community has frozen over $142 million in terrorist-related assets.