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U.S. sanctions two men connected to jailed al-Qaida facilitator

The Treasury under Secretary Janet Yellen sanctioned two men Wednesday on accusations of being business partners with a jailed al-Qaida facilitator. File Photo by Graeme Jennings/UPI
The Treasury under Secretary Janet Yellen sanctioned two men Wednesday on accusations of being business partners with a jailed al-Qaida facilitator. File Photo by Graeme Jennings/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 10 (UPI) -- The Biden administration has blacklisted two associates connected to a jailed Australian-based businessman who has been sanctioned by the United States on accusations of being an al-Qaida facilitator.

The departments of State and Treasury on Wednesday announced asset freezes against two men connected to Ahmed Luqman Talib, whom the United States sanctioned in 2020 and the Australian authorities arrested in March 2021 on charges of plotting incursions into foreign states for the purpose of engaging in hostile activities.

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The United States has accused Talib of using his Melbourne gemstones company to provide al-Qaida with moving people and finances around the world to further the militant group's objectives. Al-Qaida was designated a foreign terrorist organization by the United States in 1999.

On Wednesday, the Biden administration hit two of Talib's business partners -- his brother-in-law Musad Turkmen, who lives in Turkey, and Sri Lankan-based businessman Mohamad Irshad Mohamad Haris Nizar -- with sanctions.

Treasury officials said Nizar and Talib have been business partners in Sri Lank since at least 2018. Together, their dealings have generated nearly $200,000 a year in profits.

Turkmen is similarly accused of having land investments in Turkey with Talib since at least the end of 2018, the officials said.

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"Treasury is taking this action to further disrupt a transnational al-Qaida financial facilitation and operational plotting network," Brian Nelson, under secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence said in a statement.

The sanctions imposed Wednesday also bar U.S. citizens from doing business with the designated men.

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