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 Treasury Designates Key Facilitators and Front Company Providing Support to Al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula


12/7/2016
Action Targets AQAP Financial and Support Network
 
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) took action today to disrupt the financial and support networks of al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).  Specifically, OFAC designated AQAP facilitators Al-Hasan Ali Ali Abkar (Abkar) and Abdallah Faysal Sadiq al-Ahdal (al-Ahdal), as well as a purported charity managed by al-Ahdal, the Rahmah Charitable Organization, pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, which targets terrorists and those providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism.  As a result of today’s action, all property and interests in property of Abkar, al-Ahdal, and Rahmah Charitable Organization subject to U.S. jurisdiction are blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them.
 
“The facilitators and front company designated today are responsible for supporting AQAP’s violent terrorist activities,” said John E. Smith, Acting OFAC Director.  “Today’s action not only exposes their illicit activities, but also aims to disrupt and dismantle AQAP’s financial and support networks.”
                        
Al-Hasan Ali Ali Abkar
 
Al-Hasan Ali Ali Abkar was designated for providing financial and material support to or in support of AQAP as well as acting for or on behalf of AQAP.
 
Since at least 2014, Abkar has provided financial, material, and leadership support to AQAP.  For example, as of early 2016, Abkar was extensively involved in AQAP facilitation efforts and worked with AQAP facilitator Nayif al-Qaysi to supply money, weapons, and ammunition to AQAP forces.  Abkar also provided financial support to AQAP military leader Ghalib al-Zaydi in mid-2015.  Nayif al-Qaysi and Ghalib al-Zaydi were designated as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs) pursuant to E.O. 13224 on May 19, 2016.
 
Further, as of 2015, Abkar was an AQAP commander responsible for Yemen’s Marib and al-Jawf Governorates who, along with al-Qaysi, assembled AQAP members in support of militant operations and helped procure weapons for AQAP fighters.  As of late 2014, Abkar was also a main financier of a Marib-based AQAP militant camp.  Since at least May 2015, Abkar has commanded AQAP operatives who were fighting the Houthi rebels in Yemen.
 
Abdallah Faysal Sadiq al-Ahdal
 
Abdallah Faysal Sadiq al-Ahdal was designated for providing financial and material support to or in support of AQAP as well as acting for or on behalf of AQAP.
 
Since at least 2009, al-Ahdal has provided a variety of financial, leadership, and other facilitation support to AQAP.  For example, as of mid-2016, al-Ahdal was a senior tribal leader in Yemen’s Hadramawt Governorate who provided AQAP financial assistance to conduct training and was a member of a cell based in Ash Shihr, Hadramawt that provided money laundering and financial facilitation services for AQAP.  In early 2016, al-Ahdal also helped shelter AQAP fighters seeking refuge from Gulf Coalition airstrikes, raised funds from Gulf businessmen under the cover of charitable organizations, served as an AQAP-affiliated Sharia judge, and led AQAP’s religious police.
 
As of late 2013, al-Ahdal was a manager of foreign AQAP fighters and was responsible for spotting and recruiting young men on behalf of AQAP.  At that time, he acquired and transferred money for AQAP’s foreign fighters under the cover of business transactions using Yemen-based Al-Omgy Exchange, which was co-owned by his father-in-law Said al-Omgy and designated by OFAC in November 2016.
Additionally, al-Ahdal engaged in weapons smuggling with AQAP financial facilitator Muhammad al-Omgy, who was previously designated by OFAC in November 2016. 
 
As of late 2014, al-Ahdal allowed AQAP to recruit at his mosque and provided support to the group.  He also radicalized and provided religious instruction to a group of AQAP members who had escaped from prison.
 
Rahmah Charitable Organization
 
The Rahman Charitable Organization, which is located in Shihr City, Hadramawt Governorate, Yemen, was designated for being controlled by al-Ahdal.  Since late 2010, al-Ahdal has been the president of the Rahmah Charitable Organization, which acted as an AQAP front organization.
 
AQAP was designated by the Department of State as a Foreign Terrorist Organization and as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist in January 2010 pursuant to E.O. 13224.
 
For identifying information on the individuals and entity designated today, click here.
 
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