US Sanctions ISIL Members in Somalia Over Trade and Trafficking of Weapons
On Tuesday, November 1st, the United States sanctioned ISIL militants and others in Somalia for being part of a “terrorist weapons trafficking network” in Eastern Africa.
According to a statement released by the US Department of the Treasury, a number of the individuals targeted in Tuesday’s operation either sold weapons to al-Shabab or were actively involved with the organization.
The ISIL (ISIS) group took responsibility for the two car bombs that went off outside the education ministry in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, on Saturday, October 29th. These explosions were the deadliest attack since a truck bomb killed more than 500 people nearby five years ago when at least 120 people were killed.
According to a senior Treasury official, Tuesday’s action comes as Washington wants to intensify its efforts to uncover and dismantle “terrorist” financing networks in Africa.
Although the Treasury’s action on Tuesday was it’s first to directly target ISIL in Somalia, the official stated that more action is anticipated in the coming weeks.
ISIL in Somalia was classified as a “Specially Designated Global Terrorist” by the US Department of State in 2018.
Among those blacklisted on Tuesday is Abdirahman Mohamed Omar, whom the Treasury claimed was a member of ISIL in Somalia and was, as of 2020, the state of Puntland’s most prolific illicit arms importer.
Among others, Isse Mohamoud Yusuf, Abdirahman Fahiye Isse Mohamud, Mohamed Ahmed Qahiye, and others were targeted. Yusuf was identified as an arms smuggler and a weapons and logistical facilitator for ISIL-Somalia in Bari, Puntland.