Four South Africans have been sanctioned by the United States for leading Islamic State cells in the country or facilitating support for branches elsewhere and transferring funds or procuring weapons.
Farhad Hoomer, Siraaj Miller, Abdella Hussein Abadigga and Peter Charges Mbaga were designated as Islamic State organisers or facilitators, prohibiting U.S. entities from engaging in certain transactions with them.
The four individuals ran kidnap-for-ransom or extortion operations, recruiting and training members and acquiring things like weapons or safe houses to raise funds for Islamic State.
“Treasury is taking this action to disrupt and expose key ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) supporters who exploit South Africa’s financial system to facilitate funding for ISIS branches and networks across Africa,” the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control said in a statement.
According to Washington, ISIS relied on local fundraising schemes such as theft, extortion, kidnapping for ransom alongside support from the ISIS hierarchy to expand its influence in Africa through large-scale operations in areas where government control is limited.
Although South Africa has records of limited terror threats, security experts said networks in the country help provide finances and logistics for groups operating elsewhere on the continent.