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U.S. sanctions company, three people tied to IS funds

Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday sanctioned a network that facilitated the transfer of funds for the Islamic State. Pool photo by Melina Mara/UPI
Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday sanctioned a network that facilitated the transfer of funds for the Islamic State. Pool photo by Melina Mara/UPI | License Photo

May 18 (UPI) -- The Biden administration imposed sanctions on a network that facilitated the transfer of funds for the Islamic State.

The Treasury on Monday announced in a statement the blacklisting of three people and a company that facilitated connecting the terrorist organization to international donors as well as enabled it access to the financial system in the Middle East.

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Of the three people sanctioned, Alaa Khanfurah was designated for transferring funds through his Turkey-based money service business to IS members in Syria throughout 2019 and 2020, including sending thousands of dollars to an IS financial facilitator as well as sending money indirectly to the militant group through people who worked for him.

The Treasury said the transfers was possible do to the direct ties Khanfurah maintains with IS financial facilitators, stating in 2017 and 2019 he was a key intermediary in facilitating financial transfers between IS leaders.

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The Al-Fay Company was also designated Monday as well as brothers Idris Ali Awad al-Fay and Ibrahim Ali Awad al-Fay who are connected to the Turkey-based business.

According to the Treasury, Al-Fay was used by Idris al-Fay to distribute currency worldwide on behalf of IS. Idris Al-Fay is currently in Iraqi custody.

The federal department continued that Idris al-Fay, who once was a leader in al-Qaida and IS, used the company to connect foreign donors to IS, including those in a refugee camp in northeastern Syria.

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Due to Idris Al-Fay's detention, Ibrahim al-Fay has managed the Al-Fay Company, for which he was sanctioned on Monday.

The sanctions freeze all assets of those designated on Monday while barring U.S. citizens from doing business with them.

The United States and coalition forces declared IS defeated in March 2019 when the last area controlled by IS in Iraq and Syria was liberated.

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Despite the defeat, the terrorist organization continues to be active and has connections to the financial system with the Treasury stating IS in Iraq and Syria continues to generate funds through extortion, kidnapping and looting.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said throughout the Middle East, IS relies on key money service business operators like those designated Monday to obfuscate its transactions.

"The United States and other members of the Counter ISIS Finance Group remain committed to denying ISIS the revenue it needs to carry out its terrorist and criminal activities, as well as preventing the resurgence of the group," he said in a statement.

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