The US Treasury placed five Turkey-based Al-Qaeda facilitators and financiers on its sanctions blacklist Thursday, as it focuses its attention on the extremist group’s network in the country.
The Treasury said Egypt-born Turkish lawyer Majdi Salim and another Egyptian citizen, Muhammad Nasr al-Din al-Ghazlani, acted as financial couriers for Al-Qaeda in Turkey.
The group, designated by the United States as a terror organization, “used Turkey-based financial couriers… to facilitate funds transfers on behalf of Al-Qaeda, including providing money to the families of imprisoned Al-Qaeda members,” the Treasury said in a statement.
Three Turkish nationals, Cebrail Guzel, Soner Gurleyen, and Nurettin Muslihan, were accused of having helped facilitate Al-Qaeda’s network across Turkey and into neighboring Syria.
Thursday’s announcement followed a similar sanctions designation in late July of two Turkey-based “financial facilitators” of Al-Qaeda and Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, a jihadist group based in Syria with ties to Al-Qaeda.
US Treasury Dept. announced new sanctions against five al-Qaeda operatives accused of providing financial and travel assistance to the organization.
The operatives are accused of providing various forms of support to al-Qaeda while residing in Turkey.https://t.co/yc7o2uMGFQ
— Yasir Mahmood (@MofaYasir) September 17, 2021
Concern has grown in Washington over a potential revival of Al-Qaeda, responsible for the 9/11 attacks on the United States 20 years ago after US troops withdrew from Afghanistan in August.
Al-Qaeda had been sheltering in Taliban-held Afghanistan in the late 1990s, and the US invasion in 2001 toppled the extremist regime in a bid to find Al-Qaeda’s leaders.
“We will continue working with our foreign partners, including Turkey, to expose and disrupt Al-Qaeda’s financial support networks,” said Andre Gacki, director of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, which announced the sanctions.
AFP with additional input by GVS News Desk