The U.S. made immediate work of a new executive order authorizing broader counterterrorism designations, imposing sanctions on an array of actors affiliated with terror groups.
The Treasury Department sanctioned 15 leaders, individuals and entities, including those linked to Hamas, Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), al-Qaida and Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF). The State Department designated Hurras al-Din, a Syrian affiliate of al-Qaida, as well as its leader Faruq al-Suri and 11 others. The moves come on the eve of the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.
“Since the horrific attacks of 9/11, the U.S. government has refocused its counterterrorism efforts to constantly adapt to emerging threats,” said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, in a statement. At a briefing with reporters, Mnuchin said the U.S. designated more than 230 individuals and entities in 2018, more in one year than in any of the past 15 years.
The Treasury sanctioned Zaher Jabarin, the Turkey-based head of the Hamas finance office. He manages Hamas’ annual budget, which is in the tens of millions of dollars, and is in charge of all of Hamas’ income, according to the Treasury. Jabarin has also transferred hundreds of thousands of U.S. dollars to the West Bank to finance terrorist activities by Hamas, the Treasury said.
Hamas was designated in October 1997 as a foreign terrorist organization (FTO). Jabarin is the latest Hamas leader sanctioned by the U.S. who had been released as part of the 2011 prisoner exchange for the release of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit: The Treasury sanctioned Kamal Abdelrahman Aref Awad and Fawaz Muhmud Ali Nasser in late August over their involvement in handling Hamas-related finances.