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 Treasury Sanctions Major Hamas Leaders, Financial Facilitators and a Front Company


9/10/2015

Action Targets Four Individuals and Asyaf International Holding Group for Trading and Investment for Supporting Hamas’ Financial Operations and Terrorist Activities
 
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of the Treasury today targeted four key Hamas financial facilitators, and a company controlled by one of them pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, which targets terrorists and those providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism.  As part of today’s action, Treasury designated Hamas political bureau member Salih al-Aruri and senior Hamas financial officer Mahir Jawad Yunis Salah for acting for or on behalf of, and providing financial support, to Hamas.  In addition, Treasury designated Abu Ubaydah Khayri Hafiz al-Agha and Mohammed Reda Mohammed Anwar Awad for providing financial support to Hamas.  Also designated today is the Asyaf International Holding Group for Trading and Investment (Asyaf), a company controlled by al-Agha.  As a result of these actions, all assets of those designated today that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons are frozen, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them.    
 
“Treasury is committed to exposing and weakening Hamas, its supporters, and its terrorist agenda,” said Adam J. Szubin, Acting Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence. “Today’s action targets key players in Hamas’s international fundraising and operational network.”
 
In addition to the designations by Treasury today, the Department of State earlier this week designated Hamas operatives Yahya Sinwar, Rawhi Mushtaha, and Hamas military commander Muhammed Deif as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs) pursuant to E.O. 13224.  The U.S. government designated Hamas as a Foreign Terrorist Organization in October 1997 and as an SDGT in October 2001.   
 
Salih Muhammad Sulayman al-Aruri (al-Aruri)
 
Al-Aruri is a Hamas political bureau member who funds and directs military operations in the West Bank and against Israel.  In the late 1990s, al-Aruri was a key Hamas recruiter and his authority over Hamas military activity extends back to at least the early 1990s, when he served as a commander in Hamas’s military wing.  In 2010, immediately after his release from a 10-year prison term, al-Aruri resumed his military activity for Hamas and reconnected with Hamas political figures. Since 2010, al-Aruri has also maintained longstanding relationships with SDGTs and Hamas political bureau officials Khalid Mishaal and Musa Abu Marzouk.  Since 2011, al-Aruri has maintained a working relationship with Saudi Arabia-based senior Hamas financial officer Mahir Salah, who is also being designated today.  In 2011, al-Aruri facilitated a transfer of funds in coordination with Mahir Salah for the families of convicted terrorists and deceased Hamas fighters. 
 
Since at least 2013, al-Aruri has overseen the distribution of Hamas finances and has been a key financier and financial facilitator for Hamas military cells planning attacks and fomenting unrest.  As of 2014, al-Aruri had authority over Hamas military personnel in the West Bank and was in charge of a Hamas initiative to destabilize the Palestinian Authority in preparation for a Hamas takeover.  He also financed and directed a Hamas cell in the West Bank that sought to instigate clashes between Israeli and Palestinian forces. 
 
In 2014, al-Aruri directed and financed Hamas military cells in the West Bank and Jordan and facilitated the transfer of hundreds of thousands of dollars to Hamas, including to the Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, for the purchase of arms and storage facilities for weapons.     
 
In 2014, al-Aruri publicly praised and announced Hamas’s responsibility for the June 2014 terrorist attacks in which three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped and killed in the West Bank.
 
As of early 2015, al-Aruri was responsible, along with other Hamas members, for money transfers for Hamas. 
 
Mahir Jawad Yunis Salah (Salah)
 
Salah is a major Hamas financier based in Saudi Arabia and is a dual United Kingdom and Jordanian citizen.  Since at least 2013, Salah has led the Hamas Finance Committee in Saudi Arabia, the largest center of Hamas’s financial activity.  As head of the Hamas Finance Committee, Salah has overseen the transfer of tens of millions of dollars from Iran to Saudi Arabia to fund the Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades and Hamas activity in Gaza.  As of late 2014, Salah managed several front companies in Saudi Arabia that conducted money laundering activities for Hamas.  Salah is a close associate of SDGT and Hamas political bureau head Khalid Mishaal and has worked with fellow designee al-Aruri.       
 
Abu-Ubaydah Khayri Hafiz Al-Agha (Al-Agha)
 
Al-Agha is a Saudi Arabian citizen and a senior Hamas financial officer involved in investment, funding, and money transfers for Hamas in Saudi Arabia.  
 
As of December 2014, al-Agha managed an organization that sought financial contributions to finance Hamas from a Palestinian diaspora community. 
 
In recent years, he has been involved in transferring millions of dollars to Hamas in the Gaza Strip using his businesses or businesses in which he holds shares.        
 
Asyaf International Holding Group for Trading and Investment (Asyaf)
 
Asyaf is a Saudi Arabia-based company managed by al-Agha and used by him to finance Hamas.  Asyaf and its branches are involved in investments and money transfers on behalf of Hamas. Additionally, Asyaf’s branch in Sudan has provided financial services for Hamas since at least July 2005.  At that time, the office’s administrative and executive director was the Hamas security chief in Sudan.
 
Mohammed Reda Mohammed Anwar Awad (Awad)
 
Between 2011 and 2014, Egyptian-national Awad, a money exchange owner, was involved in the transfer of tens of millions of dollars for Hamas and its military wing in the Gaza Strip. 
 
For identifying information on the individuals and entities designated today, click here.
 
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