WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated a network of six individuals connected to Nigeria-based terrorist group, Boko Haram. All six were found guilty of establishing a Boko Haram cell in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to raise funds for and provide material assistance to Boko Haram insurgents in Nigeria. OFAC’s action follows arrests, prosecutions, and designations in the UAE in September 2021, demonstrating the commitment of the Emirati government to using judicial measures and targeted financial sanctions to disrupt the flow of funds to these networks.
“With this action, the United States joins the UAE in targeting terrorist financing networks of mutual concern,” said Under Secretary of the Treasury Brian Nelson. “Treasury continues to target financial facilitators of terrorist activity worldwide. We welcome multilateral action on this Boko Haram network to ensure that it is not able to move any further funds through the international financial system.”
OFAC designated Abdurrahman Ado Musa, Salihu Yusuf Adamu, Bashir Ali Yusuf, Muhammed Ibrahim Isa, Ibrahim Ali Alhassan, and Surajo Abubakar Muhammad pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, as amended, which targets terrorists, leaders, and officials of terrorist groups, and those providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism. The U.S. Department of State designated Boko Haram as a Foreign Terrorist Organization and a Specially Designated Global Terrorist on November 14, 2013.
BOKO HARAM NETWORK IN THE UAE
The UAE Federal Court of Appeals in Abu Dhabi convicted Abdurrahman Ado Musa, Salihu Yusuf Adamu, Bashir Ali Yusuf, Muhammed Ibrahim Isa, Ibrahim Ali Alhassan, and Surajo Abubakar Muhammad for transferring $782,000 from Dubai to Boko Haram in Nigeria. Salihu Yusuf Adamu and Surajo Abubakar Muhammad were sentenced to life imprisonment for violations of UAE anti-terrorism laws; Abdurrahman Ado Musa, Bashir Ali Yusuf, Muhammed Ibrahim Isa, and Ibrahim Ali Alhassan were sentenced to 10 years in prison, followed by deportation. Today’s designations will prevent these individuals’ funds from being used further to support terrorism.
As a result of today’s action, all property and interests in property of the individuals named above, and of any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, 50 percent or more by them, individually, or with other blocked persons, that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons, must be blocked and reported to OFAC. Unless authorized by a general or specific license issued by OFAC or otherwise exempt, OFAC’s regulations generally prohibit all transactions by U.S. persons or within the United States (including transactions transiting the United States) that involve any property or interests in property of designated or otherwise blocked persons.
Furthermore, engaging in certain transactions with the individuals designated today entails risk of secondary sanctions pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended. Pursuant to this authority, OFAC can prohibit or impose strict conditions on the opening or maintaining in the United States of a correspondent account or a payable-through account of a foreign financial institution that knowingly conducted or facilitated any significant transaction on behalf of a Specially Designated Global Terrorist.
The power and integrity of OFAC sanctions derive not only from its ability to designate and add persons to the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List (SDN List), but also from its willingness to remove persons from the SDN List consistent with the law. The ultimate goal of sanctions is not to punish but to bring about a positive change in behavior. For information concerning the process for seeking removal from an OFAC list, including the SDN List, please refer to OFAC’s Frequently Asked Question 897 here. For detailed information on the process to submit a request for removal from an OFAC sanctions list, please here.
Additional information regarding sanctions programs administered by OFAC can be found here.