Treasury sanctions target Islamic State recruiters
WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States on Friday sanctioned three members of the Islamic State who were featured in a beheading video distributed by the group and accused of luring recruits in Southeast Asia.
The Treasury Department sanctions target Mohamad Rafi Udin, Mohammed Karim Yusop Faiz and Mohammad Reza Lahaman Kiram. The action freezes any interest they have in property within U.S. jurisdiction and blocks Americans from engaging in transactions with them. The U.N. Security Council sanctioned the same three on Thursday.
As of late last year, Udin was believed to be the most senior Malaysian IS leader in Syria. According to Treasury, Udin has been involved in militant activities since 1998. He was arrested and detained from 2003 to 2006 for fighting on behalf of Jemaah Islamiyah, a terror organization in Southeast Asia. He was sanctioned in 2005 for his suspected role in the Abu Sayyaf Group, a hardline militant group in southern Philippines.
Faiz, an Indonesian national, traveled to Syria to join IS in 2014. Before that, he was in prison in the Philippines for nine years on charges of illegal possession of explosives and weapons.
Kiram was a member of a Philippines-based militant group that has pledged alliance to IS. In June 2016, he appeared alongside Faiz and Udin in an IS propaganda video that showed them taking part in beheading three prisoners held by the militant group. Philippine police allege he was involved in a bus bombing in 2012 in Zamboanga, Philippines.