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Afghanistan

US sanctions four ISIS-K operatives working in Afghanistan

Khalozai operated a Turkey-based hawala business to transfer funds to finance ISIS-K operations over two years, the US said.

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The US announced new sanctions on an operator for ISIS-K in Afghanistan on Monday, accusing him of operating a Turkey-based money-moving business.

“Ismatullah Khalozai has been an international financial facilitator for ISIS-K and has carried out missions for senior ISIS leadership,” the Treasury Department said in a statement.

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Khalozai operated a Turkey-based hawala business to transfer funds to finance ISIS-K operations over two years, the US said.

Before that, he allegedly ran a United Arab Emirates-based financing scheme, “which involved sending luxury items to international destinations for resale to generate funds in support of ISIS-K.”

He is also accused of human trafficking and facilitating the movement of foreign fighters “who seek to escalate tensions in Afghanistan and the region.”

“The Biden Administration is committed to rooting out terrorist financing networks around the world,” Director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) Andrea Gacki said. “Today’s designation underscores the United States’ determination to prevent ISIS-K and its members from exploiting the international financial system to support terrorist acts in Afghanistan and beyond.”

Additionally, the State Department designated three ISIS-K leaders.

Sanaullah Ghafari, Sultan Aziz Azam, and Maulawi Rajab were designated as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs).

US officials and intelligence assessments have warned that ISIS and al-Qaeda could develop the ability to attack the US within the next six to 12 months.

Last week, the UN said ISIS had a presence in almost every Afghan province.

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