United Nations Security Council sanctions measure to combat Al-Qaida fighters

United Nations, Aug 16: Responding to the growing terrorist threat in Iraq and Syria, the UN Security Council has imposed sanctions on six men for recruiting or financing foreign fighters, and threatened additional sanctions against those supporting terrorist groups. The UN’s most powerful body, in a resolution adopted unanimously yesterday, also demanded that the Islamic State extremist group and all Al-Qaida-linked groups end violence and disarm and disband immediately.

The British-drafted resolution follows the recent offensive by the Islamic State militant group, which has taken control of a large swath of eastern Syria and northern and western Iraq, brutalising civilians and forcing hundreds of thousands to flee, as well as increasing terrorist activity by other Al-Qaida-linked groups including Jabhat al-Nusra in Syria. The resolution “represents the international community’s comprehensive rejection of these terrorist groups and expresses its determination to respond,” British Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant told the council after the vote.

He said it sends a clear message that the international community “utterly condemns” the Islamic State group’s “brutal and mindless terrorist acts, rejects its violent extremist ideology and is united in its resolve to oppose and confront it.” The six men now subject to a global travel ban and asset freeze include four who either recruited or helped finance al-Nusra Abdelrahman Mouhamad Zafir al Dabidi al Jahani, Hajjaj Bin Fahd Al Ajmi, Said Arif and Abdul Mohsen Abdallah Ibrahim al Charekh.

Another man, Hamid Hamad Hamid al-Ali, was blacklisted for helping finance both al-Nusra and the Islamic State group, and another, Abou Mohamed al Adnani, for financing and perpetrating acts supporting the Islamic State group. Al Jahani and Al Ajmi are already subject to US sanctions.

According to the US Treasury Department, al Jahani was participating in fighting in Syria and working with counterparts in Pakistan, where he previously operated, to acquire heavy weapons and trainers to support Al-Qaida efforts. The Treasury alleges that Al Ajmi agreed to provide financial support to al-Nusra in exchange for installing Kuwaitis in the group’s leadership positions. Al Adnani is the spokesman for the Islamic State who was seen on video proclaiming the establishment of a caliphate on captured territory in Syria and Iraq on June 29, according to UN diplomats. The chosen caliph, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, is an Iraqi militant with a USD 10 million US bounty on his head.

The resolution adopted Friday urges all countries to meet their obligations under the 2001 resolution. It notes “with concern” that oil fields controlled by the Islamic State group, Jabhat al-Nusra and other al-Qaida-linked groups are generating income that is supporting their recruitment efforts and ability to carry out terrorist operations. The resolution calls on all countries to take measures to suppress the flow of their citizens and residents to fight for terrorist groups and bring those who do to justice.