The US sanctioned several individuals associated with Hamas’ “secret” investment portfolio as well as two senior members of the organization’s leadership in a move designed to limit the group’s ability to raise funds following its attack on Israel.
(Bloomberg) — The US sanctioned several individuals associated with Hamas’ “secret” investment portfolio as well as two senior members of the organization’s leadership in a move designed to limit the group’s ability to raise funds following its attack on Israel.
Six of the individuals are accused of running an investment portfolio worth hundreds of millions of dollars with companies in Turkey, Algeria, Sudan, the United Arab Emirates and other countries. The network uses front companies to disguise its activities and generates revenue used to support senior Hamas officials, allowing them to live in luxury, Treasury said in a statement Wednesday.
The US also sanctioned two senior members of Hamas’ leadership and a virtual currency exchange based in Gaza. The investments and networks allow Hamas — which is categorized as a terrorist organization by the US and European Union — to raise money independently of the support the group receives from Iran, Treasury said.
“The United States is taking swift and decisive action to target Hamas’s financiers and facilitators following its brutal and unconscionable massacre of Israeli civilians, including children,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in a statement. “We will continue to take all steps necessary to deny Hamas terrorists the ability to raise and use funds to carry out atrocities and terrorize the people of Israel.”
The two senior Hamas members are Muhammad Ahmad ‘Abd Al-Dayim Nasrallah, who Treasury describes as a “longtime Hamas operative based in Qatar with close ties to Iranian elements.” He is accused of transferring tens of millions of dollars to Hamas, including the group’s military wing: the Izz al-Din al-Qassim Brigades.
Ayman Nofal, the second senior member, is a part of the brigades and the commander of military relations for Hamas. He was allegedly killed in an airstrike Tuesday, Treasury said.
The department also sanctioned Buy Cash Money and Money Transfer Company, a virtual currency exchange. A virtual wallet associated with Buy Cash was seized by the Israeli government in June 2021.
In a call with reporters, a senior Treasury official said the US been in communication directly with Qatar and all the countries involved in the financial network to go after individuals promoting terrorism in the region.
The official said part of the US goal in going into the region and meeting with Qatari officials and others in the Gulf is to make sure that the US is signaling to them the importance of working in coordination to take out these financial networks as they not only serve as a threat to the US and to Israel but also to their countries as well.
(Updates with comment from Treasury official in penultimate paragraph.)
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