WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated three individuals and one entity in connection with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). The individuals and company being designated today played a crucial role connecting ISIS with a network of international donors and enabled ISIS to access the financial system in the Middle East. This action coincides with the fourteenth meeting of the Counter ISIS Finance Group (CIFG), which includes nearly 70 countries and international organizations, and plays a fundamental role in coordinating efforts to deny ISIS access to the international financial system and eliminate its sources of revenue.
“This Administration is committed to preventing the resurgence of ISIS and countering the group’s terrorist financing networks wherever they operate,” said Andrea Gacki, Director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control. “These designations highlight the continued importance of all jurisdictions bolstering their efforts to combat the financing of terrorism.”
ISIS continues to exploit formal financial systems despite the loss of its territorial caliphate in Iraq and Syria. In Iraq and Syria, ISIS has generated revenue through extortion of local businesses, kidnapping for ransom, and looting. The group has transferred funds internationally through money services businesses, including hawalas, couriers, and financial facilitation networks. In addition to revenue generated from its illicit financial activities, ISIS also has access to tens of millions of dollars in cash reserves disbursed across the region. Throughout Iraq, Syria, and Turkey, ISIS has relied on key money services business operators, like those designated today, that allow ISIS to obfuscate its involvement in transactions.
Alaa Khanfurah (Khanfurah) is being designated pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, as amended, for having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, ISIS. Throughout 2019 and 2020, Khanfurah’s Turkey-based money service business transferred funds to ISIS members throughout Syria, in part through the direct financial ties Khanfurah maintained with ISIS financial facilitators. This included Khanfurah sending thousands of dollars to an ISIS financial facilitator, as well as indirect money transfers sent through individuals who worked for Khanfurah. In 2017 and 2019, Khanfurah served as a key intermediary in facilitating financial transfers between senior ISIS leaders.
The Al-Fay Company and Idris Ali Awad al-Fay (Idris al-Fay) are being designated pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended, for having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, ISIS. Idris al-Fay, who is currently in Iraqi custody, used the Turkey-based Al-Fay Company to facilitate the global distribution of currency on behalf of ISIS. Al-Fay Company was also used by Idris al-Fay as an intermediary between foreign donors and ISIS, including ISIS members located in the al-Hawl Internally Displaced Persons camp in northeastern Syria. Idris al-Fay previously held leadership positions in al-Qa’ida and ISIS as a judicial officer and emir.
Ibrahim Ali Awad al-Fay (Ibrahim al-Fay) is being designated pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended, for owning or controlling, directly or indirectly, the Al-Fay Company. Ibrahim al-Fay, Idris al-Fay’s brother, manages the Al-Fay Company in Idris al-Fay’s absence. By appropriating funds from international sources through a network of currency exchanges and hawalas, Idris al-Fay and Ibrahim Ali ‘Awad al-Fay were able to send funds to ISIS elements in Iraq and Syria.
As a result of today’s action, all property and interests in property of these individuals and entity 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 and entity 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 by a foreign financial institution that either knowingly conducted or facilitated any significant transaction on behalf of an SDGT.