JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – THE United States has imposed sanctions on four members of a suspected Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) cell allegedly operating in South Africa.
They are said to have provided technical, financial or material support to the terrorist group.
The Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) also designated eight companies reportedly owned, controlled or directed by the individuals in the ISIS cell.
The sanctioned individuals comprise brothers Nufael Akbar and Yunus Mohamad Akbar, who are allegedly senior members of a Durban-based cell led by Farhad Hoomer, sanctioned earlier.
Nufael is allegedly a central commanding figure with Yunus functioning as an enforcer and logistical coordinator for the cell.
Monday’s action also targets two other alleged Hoomer associates, Mohamad Akbar and Umar Akbar.
They were arrested in 2018 by South African authorities along with Hoomer for their involvement in a plan to deploy improvised incendiary devices near a mosque and commercial retail buildings.
“Today (Monday), Treasury is targeting key individuals in ISIS’s network in South Africa, as well as their business assets, who have played pivotal roles in enabling terrorism and other criminal activities in the region,” said Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson.
Recently, the US Embassy in South Africa warned of a plot by terrorists to perpetrate an attack in Sandton, north of Johannesburg.
It triggered diplomatic fallout.
On Monday, Ned Price, US Department of State spokesperson, said his country would continue to partner South Africa to deny ISIS the ability to exploit the country’s economy to raise and transfer funds in support of ISIS terrorist activities.
– CAJ News