Treasury Department sanctions Hamas-linked terror fund-raising network
Treasury Department sanctions Hamas-linked terror fund-raising network

The United States and the United Kingdom are taking coordinated action against a Hamas-linked fund-raising organization and its partners.

WASHINGTON — Today, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) determined two individuals and three legal entities as key financial enablers involved in raising funds for Hamas. As a result of the October 7, 2023 terrorist attack by Hamas against Israel, Gaza now involved in fundraising efforts to support Hamas. Gaza now and its founder Mustafa Ayashas well Leaders of Al-Qureshi and Aakhirah Limitedand their director Aozma Sultana, partnered in multiple fundraising efforts. This action is being taken as part of a joint effort with the UK’s Financial Sanctions Enforcement Office, which enforces sanctions against these same targets.

“Treasury remains committed to degrading the ability of Hamas to fund its terrorist activities, including through online fundraising campaigns that seek to funnel money directly to the group,” said Treasury Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Bryan E. Nelson. “The United States, in close coordination with our British partners, will continue to use our tools to thwart Hamas’ ability to facilitate further attacks.”

The United States and the United Kingdom have already conducted three coordinated sanctions actions related to Hamas’ fundraising efforts since October 7, 2023, including an action on November 14, 2023 against Hamas leaders and financiers, an action on December 13, 2023 .against additional Hamas financial officials and representatives, and a January 22, 2024 action by the US, UK, and Australia against additional Hamas financial networks and intermediaries of virtual currency transfers.

a fundraising network linked to Hamas

After the October 7 terrorist attack, an online entity Gaza now began a fundraising effort to support Hamas. OFAC determines Gaza now under EO 13224, as amended, to materially assist, sponsor, or provide financial, material, or technological support to, or goods or services to or in support of, Hamas, a person whose property and interests in property are blocked under EO 13224. OFAC determines Gaza nowfounder and director, Mustafa Ayashunder EO 13224, as amended, to own or control, directly or indirectly, Gaza now.

Aozma Sultana (Sultana) is the director and sole employee of Leaders of Al-Qureshi and Aakhirah Limited. Sultana and these two companies have given thousands of dollars to Gaza now and advertised Gaza now as a partner during a joint fundraiser shortly after the October 7 terrorist attack. OFAC determines Sultana under EO 13224, as amended, to materially assist, sponsor, or provide financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to, or in support of Gaza now. OFAC determines Leaders of Al-Qureshi and Aakhirah Limited under EO 13224, as amended, for being owned, controlled or directed by Sultana.

CONSEQUENCES OF SANCTIONS

As a result of today’s action, all property and interests in property of the named persons described above that are in the United States or owned or controlled by US persons are frozen and must be reported to OFAC. In addition, all entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, individually or in the aggregate, 50 percent or more by one or more Blocked Persons are also Blocked. Unless authorized by a general or special license issued by OFAC or exempted, OFAC regulations generally prohibit all transactions by US persons or within (or transit through) the United States that involve property or interests in the property of certain or otherwise blocked persons.

In addition, engaging in certain transactions with persons named today results in the risk of secondary penalties under EO 13224, as amended. Under this authority, OFAC may prohibit or impose strict conditions on the opening or maintenance in the United States of a correspondent account or payable account of a foreign financial institution that has knowingly made or facilitated any significant transaction on behalf of a designated Global Terrorist.

In addition, non-U.S. financial institutions and other persons who engage in certain transactions or activities with sanctioned entities and individuals may be at risk of sanctions or subject to enforcement action. Prohibitions include making any contribution or provision of funds, goods or services by, to or for the benefit of any specified person, or receiving any contribution or provision of funds, goods or services from and to be such a person.

The strength and integrity of OFAC’s sanctions derive not only from OFAC’s ability to designate and add individuals to the SDN List, but also from its willingness to remove individuals from the SDN List in accordance with law. The ultimate goal of sanctions is not to punish, but to bring about a positive change in behavior. For information on OFAC’s delisting seeking process, including the SDN list, please see OFAC’s FAQ 897 here. For detailed information on the process for submitting a request to be removed from an OFAC sanctions list, please click here.

Treasury remains committed to ensuring the flow of legitimate humanitarian aid to support the basic human needs of vulnerable populations, while continuing to deny resources to malicious actors. Accordingly, OFAC’s sanctions programs contain provisions for legitimate humanitarian support for vulnerable populations, including authorizations for certain humanitarian transactions in support of nongovernmental organization activities. For more information, please review the relevant authorizations and guidance on OFAC’s website. On November 14, 2023, OFAC issued a Compliance Communiqué that provides additional guidance on the provision of humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian people. Click here for more information on the individuals named today.

Additional Treasury Countering Terrorist Financing Resources:

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