08 February 2006
Treasury Designates U.K. Residents with Libyan Terror Ties
Organizations, individuals ruled financial supporters of al-Qaida-linked group
The U.S. Treasury Department February 8 announced a formal "designation" of five individuals and four organizations as financial supporters of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), an organization with links to al-Qaida.
The designation identifies five British residents of Libyan origin as having links with LIFG: Abd Al-Rahman Al-Faqih, Ghuma Abd'rabbah, Abdulbaqi Mohammed Khaled, Tahir Nasuf and Mohammed Benhammedi. In addition, it lists three real estate companies operated by Benhammedi – Sara Properties, Meadowbrook Investments and Ozlam Properties – and the Sanabel Relief Agency, a U.K.-registered charity, as instruments used to funnel resources to LIFG.
The LIFG supports terrorist activities in Libya and has attempted to overthrow Libyan leader Muammar al-Qadhafi.
The Treasury action freezes all assets of the designated individuals and entities under U.S. jurisdiction.
Following is the text of the Treasury Department statement:
U.S. Department of the Treasury
February 8, 2006
Treasury Designates UK-Based Individuals, Entities Financing Al Qaida-Affiliated LIFG
The U.S. Department of the Treasury today designated five individuals and four entities for their role in financing the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), an al Qaida affiliate known for engaging in terrorist activity in Libya and cooperating with al Qaida worldwide.
"The Libyan Islamic Fighting Group threatens global safety and stability through the use of violence and its ideological alliance with al Qaida and other brutal terrorist organizations," said Patrick O'Brien, the Treasury's Assistant Secretary for Terrorist Financing and Financial Crime. "Through a sophisticated charitable front operation and other companies, the individuals designated today have financially supported LIFG's activities."
Today's designation, which is carried out by the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), was executed under Executive Order 13224, an authority that targets the assets of terrorists and their financiers.
The individuals and entities supported the LIFG through various financial means, primarily in the United Kingdom. The LIFG was formed in the early 1990s in Afghanistan, and formally announced its existence in 1995. The group relocated to Libya where it sought to overthrow Mu'ammar Qadhafi and replace his regime with a hard-line Islamic state. The LIFG mounted several operations inside Libya including a 1996 attempt to assassinate Qadhafi, but these failed to topple the regime. Following a Libyan government security campaign against LIFG in the mid- to late 1990s, the group abandoned Libya and continued its activities in exile.
The group is part of the wider al Qaida-associated movement that continues to threaten global peace and security. Accordingly, LIFG was designated pursuant to Executive Order 13224 on September 23, 2001. On October 6, 2001, the United Nations Security Council also added LIFG to its consolidated list of entities associated with al Qaida.
Abd Al-Rahman Al-Faqih
AKAs: Mohammed Albashir
Bashir Mohammed Ibrahim al-Faqi
Abu Abd Al Rahman
Abd Al Rahman Al-Khatab
DOB: December 15, 1959
ADDRESS: Birmingham, United Kingdom
Abd al-Rahman al-Faqih is a senior leader of the LIFG and is involved in the provision of false passports and money to LIFG members worldwide.
Al-Faqih has been tried and found guilty in absentia by the Rabat, Morocco Criminal Court of Appeals for his involvement in the series of suicide bombings in Casablanca, Morocco on May 16, 2003 that killed over 40 people and caused more than 100 injuries. It was strongly suspected that the Moroccan Islamic Combat Group (GICM) carried out that attack. GICM was designated pursuant to Executive Order 13224 on November 22, 2002.
Al-Faqih has a history of GICM-related activity, notably representing the LIFG during meetings held in Turkey in the late 1990s with GICM. During these meetings, LIFG agreed to host weapons training and jihad indoctrination at LIFG camps in Afghanistan for Moroccans.
AKAs: Ghunia Abdurabba
DOB: September 2, 1957
POB: Benghazi, Libya
ADDRESS: Birmingham, United Kingdom
Ghuma Abd'rabbah is an associate of LIFG leader Abd' al-Rahman al-Faqih. Abd'rabbah is "Charity Correspondent" and one of three trustees for Sanabel Relief Agency Limited (SRA), an international charity organization controlled by the LIFG and used to transfer documents and funds for terrorist activities overseas. SRA was also designated today.
Abdulbaqi Mohammed Khaled
AKAs: Abul Baki Mohammed Khaled
Abd' al-Baki Mohammed
Abul Baki Khaled
DOB: August 18, 1957
POB: Tripoli, Libya
ADDRESS: Birmingham, United Kingdom
Abdulbaqi Mohammed Khaled is a member of the LIFG and was a director of SRA.
AKAs: Tahir Mustafa Nasuf
Abu Salima El Libi
DOB: November 4, 1961
ALT. DOB: April 11, 1961
POB: Tripoli, Libya
ADDRESS: Manchester, United Kingdom
Tahir Nasuf is a middle-ranking member of the LIFG. He was previously associated with senior UK-based Libyans tied to the al-Qaida-affiliated Armed Islamic Group (GIA). The GIA was designated pursuant to Executive Order 13224 on September 23, 2001.
Nasuf is one of three trustees and a director of SRA.
AKAs: Mohamed Hannadi
Mohamed Ben Hammedi
Muhammad Muhammad Bin Hammidi
Abu Hajir Al Libi
Abu Al Qassam
DOB: September 22, 1966
ADDRESS: Midlands, United Kingdom
Mohammed Benhammedi is a key financier for the LIFG and believed to provide funds for the LIFG through Sara Properties Limited, Meadowbrook Investments Limited and Ozlam Properties Limited. These three businesses were also designated today. Benhammedi is also a member of what was identified as the LIFG economic committee.
During Operation Enduring Freedom, in early 2002, Benhammedi was detained, along with several others, by Iranian officials when he attempted to illegally enter Iran from Afghanistan.
Sara Properties Limited
AKA: Sara Properties
ADDRESS 1: 104 Smithdown Road, Liverpool, Merseyside L7 4JQ (United Kingdom)
ADDRESS 2: 2a Hartington Road, Liverpool L8 0SG (United Kingdom)
REGISTRATION #: 4636613
Sara Properties Limited is a real estate agency trading in residential property sale and leasing. Mohammed Benhammedi, the co-director of Sara Properties Limited, is a 75 percent shareholder of Sara Properties Limited and the owner of the Internet domain for the Sara Properties Limited website. Through his ownership of several businesses in the UK, including Sara Properties Limited, Benhammedi is known to provide funds for the LIFG.
Meadowbrook Investments Limited
ADDRESS: 44 Upper Belgrave Road, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 2XN (United Kingdom)
COMPANY #: 05059698
Meadowbrook Investments Limited is registered as a Bristol-based real estate company. Mohammed Benhammedi is a director of Meadowbrook Investments Limited and has been in that position since April 27, 2004. Through his ownership of several businesses in the UK, including Meadowbrook Investments Limited, Benhammedi is known to provide funds for the LIFG.
Ozlam Properties Limited
ADDRESS: 88 Smithdown Road, Liverpool, L7 4JQ (United Kingdom)
REGISTRATION #: 05258730
Ozlam Properties Limited, a property company, is co-directed by Mohammed Benhammedi. He was appointed director on October 13, 2005. Through his ownership of several businesses in the UK, including Ozlam Properties Limited, Benhammedi is known to provide funds for the LIFG.
Sanabel Relief Agency Limited
AKAs: Sanabel Relief Agency
Al-Rahama Relief Foundation Limited
ADDRESS 1: 63 South Rd, Sparkbrook, Birmingham B11 1EX (United Kingdom)
ADDRESS 2: 1011 Stockport Rd, Levenshulme, Manchester M9 2TB (United Kingdom)
ADDRESS 3: P.O. Box 50, Manchester M19 2SP (United Kingdom)
ADDRESS 4: 98 Gresham Road, Middlesbrough (United Kingdom)
ADDRESS 5: 54 Anson Road, London, NW2 6AD (United Kingdom)
CHARITY #: 1083469
REGISTRATION #: 3713110
SRA was incorporated on February 12, 1999, and subsequently registered with the UK charity commission on November 17, 2000 as a charity with objectives "to relieve poverty, sickness and distress and to advance education of persons who are in need of such relief as a result of a natural disaster in particular, but not exclusively, by the provision of funds."
While SRA characterizes itself to the public as a charitable organization, its first priority is providing support to the LIFG's jihadist activities. LIFG's fundraising charity is SRA, which is controlled by leaders of the LIFG. Directors of SRA use the charity as a vehicle to transfer money and documents for terrorist activities overseas.
Prior to September 11, 2001, SRA had an office in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan, where the former head of SRA in Kabul was known to have ties to the LIFG. He was later believed to be arrested in Pakistan with three other LIFG members and al Qaida leader Abu Zubaydah. Further, the director of SRA in Afghanistan received help from senior LIFG facilitator, Adnan al-Libi.
These individuals and entities were designated today pursuant to Executive Order 13224 chiefly pursuant to paragraphs (d)(i) and (d)(ii) based on a determination that they assist in, sponsor or provide financial, material, or technological support for, or financial or other services to or in support of, or are otherwise associated with, persons listed as subject to E.O. 13224.
Blocking actions are critical to combating the financing of terrorism. When an action is put into place, any assets existing in the formal financial system at the time of the order are to be frozen. Blocking actions serve additional functions as well, acting as a deterrent for non-designated parties who might otherwise be willing to finance terrorist activity; exposing terrorist financing "money trails" that may generate leads to previously unknown terrorist cells and financiers; disrupting terrorist financing networks by encouraging designated terrorist supporters to disassociate themselves from terrorist activity and renounce their affiliation with terrorist groups; terminating terrorist cash flows by shutting down the pipelines used to move terrorist-related assets; forcing terrorists to use alternative and more costly and higher-risk means of financing their activities.
The United States is also taking action today pursuant to United Nations Security Counsel Resolution 1617, which requires member states to financially isolate individuals and entities added to the UN 1267 Committee's consolidated list of terrorists tied to the Taliban, al Qaida and UBL.
(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)
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