US Puts Sanctions on 6 for al-Shabab Support

Posted July 5th, 2012 at 1:55 pm (UTC-5)
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The United States has placed financial sanctions on two Eritrean officials and four other East Africans it accuses of supporting Somali militant group al-Shabab.

The Treasury Department designated the six men on Thursday under a 2010 presidential order that allows the government to freeze property of individuals contributing to the conflict in Somalia.

The Eritreans named are Colonel Tewolde Negash, an intelligence officer who is said to funnel money to al-Shabab, and Colonel Taeme Goitom, who allegedly helped make decisions for a group within Hizbul Islam, a militia that merged with al-Shabab in 2010.

Also designated was Sudanese national Suhayl Salim Abd-el-Rahman, who is accused of facilitating travel and financial assistance for foreign fighters seeking to enter Somalia.

Also on the list are three Kenyans — Aboud Rogo Mohammed, Abubaker Shariff Ahmed and Omar Awadh Omar — who allegedly provided financial or logistical support for al-Shabab.

In addition, Omar is accused of helping to plan the July 2010 bombings in Kampala, Uganda that killed 74 people. The U.S. says he is incarcerated in Uganda, awaiting trial.

The United States designated al-Shabab itself as a terrorist organization in 2008. The group has been trying to overthrow the Somali government and impose a harshly conservative form of Islam on the country.

It once controlled most of southern and central Somalia but has lost most of its territory in the past 18 months to a multi-nation offensive.