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Karnataka-born IS recruiter Mohammad Shafi Armar named in US terror list

LiveMint logoLiveMint 16-06-2017 AFP

Washington: The Islamic State group’s top India recruiter and a senior coordinator of its European attacks network were named on Thursday on the US terrorist sanctions list. The State Department officially named three senior IS officials—Mohammad Shafi Armar, Oussama Ahmad Atar, and Mohammed Isa Yousif Saqar Al Binali—as Specially Designated Global Terrorists, Washington’s strict sanctions blacklist.

Armar, a native of Karnataka, is the Islamic State group’s leader and chief recruiter in India, the department said. It blamed him for cultivating “dozens” of IS supporters involved in building the group’s operations in the country.

Belgian-Moroccan national Atar was named as the man who established the IS network in Europe responsible for a number of deadly strikes, including in November 2015 attacks in Paris. Atar also allegedly recruited and mentored two of the bombers in the March 2016 attacks in Brussels.

The third man, Binali, is a Bahraini who has appeared in IS videos trying to recruit other Bahrainis to the group, the State Department said. The SDGT designation aims to notify the international community that the three “have committed or pose a significant risk of committing acts of terrorism,’ the department said in a statement.

“Designations expose and isolate organizations and individuals, and result in denial of access to the US financial system.”

Meanwhile the US Treasury added an Iraqi money changer to its sanctions list for handling financial transactions for Islamic State. It said Umar al-Kubaysi and his company Al-Kawther Money Exchange have been involved in financial support for Islamic State and predecessor groups since before 2006.

From late 2015 and early 2016, Al-Kawther handed transfers worth $2.5 million with another Iraq-based, IS-linked money changer, it said.

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