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Designation of Al-Qaida Supporters in Brazil


An exterior view of the building of US Department of the Treasury. (File)

The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control identified three men as members of a Brazil-based network of al-Qaida-affiliated individuals.

Designation of Al-Qaida Supporters in Brazil
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When evidence emerges, the United States identifies certain individuals that are crucial to the operation of terrorist organizations. Many of them set up and operate elaborate networks to help finance these terrorist organizations.

Oftentimes, when such individuals are identified, the U.S. Government adds their names to the Specially Designated Nationals List. Their assets within U.S. reach are immediately frozen. No U.S. citizen or company may conduct business with a designated individual. In this way, the United States disrupts financial support networks for terrorists and terrorist organizations.

In late December, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, or OFAC, identified three men as members of a Brazil-based network of al-Qaida-affiliated individuals. The Treasury Department designated them as Specially Designated Global Terrorists pursuant to Executive Order 13224, as amended, for providing support to the terrorist group.

Haytham Ahmad Shukri Ahmad Al-Maghrabi, al-Qaida’s special operative and one of the network’s original members, arrived in Brazil in 2015. Working with another network member, al-Maghrabi conducted various business dealings and purchased foreign currency.

Al-Maghrabi was designated for having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, al-Qaida.

Mohamed Sherif Mohamed Mohamed Awadd arrived in Brazil in mid-2018.He received financial bank transfers from other al-Qaida associates in Brazil and became involved in printing counterfeit currency. Awadd owns and partly manages the Home Elegance Comercio de Moveis EIRELI furniture enterprise in Sao Paulo.

Ahmad Al-Khatib owns and partly manages the Sao Paulo-based furniture business Enterprise Comercio de Moveis e Intermediacao de Negocios EIRELI.

Both Awadd and al-Khatib have been designated for having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, Mohamed Ahmed Elsayed Ahmed Ibrahim. Ibrahim was himself designated on September 10, 2019 for having acted for or on behalf of al-Qaida.

The two Sao Paulo furniture companies have been designated for being owned or controlled by Awadd and al-Khatib, respectively.

“The activities of this Brazil-based network demonstrate that al-Qaida remains a pervasive global terrorist threat, and today’s designations will help deny the group’s access to the formal financial system,” said Under Secretary of the Treasury Brian E. Nelson. “The United States is committed to working with our foreign partners, including Brazil, to dismantle al-Qaida’s financial support networks.”

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