Septmber 10, 2019 Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) utilized newly enhanced counterterrorism sanctions authorities to designate a series of terrorist leaders, facilitators, and entities. Equipped with new tools from President Trump’s recently updated Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, which became effective today, Treasury designated 15 leaders, individuals, and entities affiliated with terror groups. Today’s action targets a wide array of groups, including entities affiliated with HAMAS, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), al-Qa’ida, and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Qods-Force (IRGC-QF), and combined with actions taken by the State Department amounts to some of the furthest reaching designations of terrorists and their supporters in the past 15 years.
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According to the announcement, the entities involved in Hamas financing were:
- Zaher Jabarin is a leader or official of HAMAS. Turkey-based Jabarin is the head of HAMAS’s Finance Office. In this capacity, he manages HAMAS’s yearly budget amounting to tens of millions of dollars, is in charge of all HAMAS’s income from various elements around the world, and seeks to obtain additional sources of funding for HAMAS.
- Redin Exchange has materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to, HAMAS. As of March 2019, the Turkey-based Redin Exchange and Treasury-designated financial facilitator Muhammad Sarur were involved in a $10 million dollar transfer to HAMAS’s operational arm, the Izz-Al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades. Marwan Mahdi Salah Al-Rawi (Al-Rawi) .is identified as Redin Exchange’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
- SMART Ithalat Ihracat Dis Ticaret Limited Sirketi (SMART), owned or controlled by Ismael Tash, is an import/export limited company and possible front company associated with Redin Exchange. Both SMART and Redin Exchange share the same Istanbul-based address.
In September 2015, we reported that the US Treasury Department had designated as terrorists Hamas operative Saleh al-Arouri, three other Hamas officials, and a Saudi Arabian-based company controlled by one of the group. In December 2015, the GMBDW reported that al-Arouri was expelled from Turkey.
The Hamas charter says that it is “one of the wings of the Muslim Brothers in Palestine” and soon after Hamas took over the Gaza strip, Muslim Brotherhood representatives traveled to Gaza from Egypt through the newly-opened border to review Hamas military formations. A Hamas journalist has acknowledged the role that the “international Muslim Brotherhood” has played in providing funds for the purchase of weapons and Hamas is known to be supported financially and politically by the global Muslim Brotherhood. A Muslim Brotherhood spokesman revealed that a coalition of London-based Muslim groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood, were behind the mass demonstrations staged to protest Israeli actions in the 2008 Gaza war and the Global Muslim Brotherhood and its Turkish affiliates were also intimately involved, along with the Turkish government, in the June 2010 Gaza flotilla that was involved in a violent altercation with Israeli naval forces. Following a period of seeming ascension related to the period of Egyptian rule by the Muslim Brotherhood, the organization was forced to scramble to try and find other state sponsors after Mohamed Morsi was deposed as President. In September 2013, it appeared that Hamas had succeeded in re-establishing close ties with Iran. In January 2013, Israeli intelligence sources claimed that Turkey has replaced Iran as the chief source of Hamas financing.
In January 2017, we reported on a Forbes survey that listed Hamas as the second richest terror group in the world with finances of around $1 billion.