US designates Burkina-Faso based group as a terrorist organisation

The US State Department has designated Burkina Faso-based group Ansarul Islam as a terrorist organisation. The group is said to have launched numerous attacks in northern Burkina Faso, including deadly attacks on police stations, a school director, and the country’s armed forces.

As a consequence of its inclusion on OFAC’s SDN List as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist, Ansarul Islam is subject to a freeze on all of its assets within US jurisdiction, and US people and entities are prohibited from doing business with it.

The State Department’s press release is here, and the details of the listing are here.

EU updates entry for 1 person listed on ISIL & Al-Qaida sanctions

The EU has amended the entry for Djamel Lounici, who is listed on its sanctions against ISIL & Al-Qaida. The amended version states that he returned to Algeria from France, as opposed to Italy, and no longer states that he is the son in law of Othman Deramchi. Mr Deramchi was deleted from the EU’s sanctions list in July last year.

See Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/256 amending Council Regulation (EC) 881/2002.

US House passes Hamas human shields sanctions Bill

US HoR.jpgYesterday, the US House of Representatives passed the Hamas Human Shields Prevention Act by a 415-0 vote.

The Bill makes provision for sanctions (asset freezes and travel restrictions) to be imposed against members of, or those acting on behalf of, Hamas that are responsible for, or complicit in, the use of human shields by Hamas. An agency or instrumentality of a foreign state may also be sanctioned for significantly facilitating (directly or indirectly) any act with respect to such use of human shields.

The Bill also urges the US to use its influence at the UN Security Council to secure support for a resolution imposing multilateral sanctions against Hamas’s use of human shields. The next stage is for the Senate to vote on the Bill.

OFAC targets international ISIS facilitators

US Treasury BuildingOFAC has designated 3 people and 3 entities as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs), pursuant to Executive Order 13224 (asset freezes imposed), in order to target those who “provide support to ISIS and advance the violent terrorist group’s operational activity”. Links here for OFAC Notice and US Treasury press release.

The 3 people, Abdulpatta Escalon Abubakar, Yunus Emre Sakarya and Mohamed Mire Ali Yusuf, were each designated for “assisting in, sponsoring, or providing financial, material, or technological support for, or financial or other services to or in support of, ISIS”.

The entity Profesyoneller Elektronik was designated for “being owned or controlled by [Mr.] Sakarya and for assisting in, sponsoring, or providing financial, material, or technological support for, or financial or other services to or in support of, ISIS”. The remaining two entities, Liibaan Trading and Al-Mutafaq Commercial Company, were each designated for “being owned or controlled by [Mr.] Yusuf”.

OFAC designates 3 Pakistanis as Global Terrorists

OFAC3.jpgOFAC has designated 3 Pakistani nationals as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs), pursuant to Executive Order 13224, in order to “disrupt South Asian terrorist support networks”.

Rahman Zeb Faqir Muhammad was designated for “providing financial, material, or technological support for, or other services to or in support of, Lashkar-e Tayyiba (LeT)”, which was designated by both the UN and US as a terrorist organisation based in Pakistan.

Hizb Ullah Astam Khan and Dilawar Khan Nadir Khan were each designated for “acting for or on behalf of SDGT Shaykh Aminullah”, of whom was designated in 2009 for “providing material support to Al-Qa’ida, LeT, and the Taliban”. Links here for OFAC Notice and US Treasury press release.

UK renews 4 Hamas asset freezing orders

OHMTreasury.jpgFSI has renewed the designations of 4 people (Khalid Mishaal, Musa Abu Marzouk, Usama Hamdan and Imad Khalil Al-Alami) under the Terrorist Asset-Freezing etc. Act 2010 (TAFA) asset freezing measures. Each is listed as a “Senior HAMAS official”. The OFSI Notice explains that the designated persons may appeal this decision to the High Court (or, in Scotland, to the Court of Session) pursuant to section 26 of TAFA.

OFAC targets Hizballah financial network in Africa & Middle East

OFAC2OFAC has designated 6 people and 7 entities pursuant to Executive Order 13224, in order to target the “business operations of Hizballah” (a group designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organisation in 1997 and as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) in 2001). All of those designated in today’s action are subject to asset freezes, as well as secondary sanctions pursuant to the Hizballah Financial Sanctions Regulations, which implements the Hizballah International Financing Prevention Act of 2015.

The 6-designated people: Lebanon-based Jihad Muhammad Qansu, Ali Muhammad Qansu, Issam Ahmad Saad, and Nabil Mahmoud Assaf, and Iraq-based Abdul Latif Saad and Muhammad Badr-Al-Din were each designated for “acting for or on behalf of Hizballah member and financier Adham Tabaja or his company, Al-Inmaa Engineering and Contracting” (both of which were designated as SDGTs in June 2015).

The 7-designated entities: Sierra Leone-based Blue Lagoon Group LTD and Kanso Fishing Agency Limited, Ghana-based Star Trade Ghana Limited, Liberia-based Dolphin Trading Company Limited, Sky Trade Company, and Golden Fish Liberia LTD., and Lebanon-based Golden Fish S.A.L. (Offshore) were each designated for being owned or controlled by Ali Muhammad Qansu (designated in today’s action). Links here for OFAC Notice and US Treasury press release.

New Independent Reviewer report on UK Terrorism Acts

Max Hill QC.jpgMax Hill QC, the UK Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation, has published his first Annual Report on the operation of the Terrorism Acts in 2016 since succeeding David Anderson QC on 1 March 2017.

The report covers (inter alia) proscribed organisations – 5 organisations were proscribed in 2016, 1 was removed from the list following an application to deproscribe (see previous blogs on ISYF). There are a number of recommendations on stop and search, port and border controls, arrest and detention etc. The Report contains a chapter on proscription and financial sanctions by Professor Emeritus Clive Walker QC (Hon) (Annex 2 to the Report) commenting on the UK Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill.