By Courtney Trenwith
Two Kuwaiti & 2 Saudi nationals have been added to the UN sanctions list for their links to IS or Nusra Front
Kuwait has said it will cooperate with sanctions imposed by the United Nations Security Council on two citizens with ties to the Islamic State or Nusra Front.
Two Kuwaitis and two Saudi men were added to the UN blacklist on Friday for their involvement with the Al Qaeda splinter groups.
The UN Security Council resolution adds the names of Saudi citizens Abdelrahman Mouhamad Zafir Al Dabidi Al Jahani, who is believed to run Nusra Front’s foreign fighter networks, and Abdul Mohsen Abdallah Ibrahim Al Charekh, who is described as “a leading terrorist internet propagandist” who heads Nusra Front in Syria’s Latakia district.
Kuwaitis Hamid Hamad Hamid Al Ali and Hajjaj bin Fahd Al Ajmi were added to the list for providing financial support to Nusra Front.
Ajmi’s fundraising includes at least one Twitter campaign, according to the UN. Already targeted by US sanctions, Ajmi is said to travel regularly to Syria from Kuwait to deliver money and install Kuwaiti nationals in Nusra Front leadership positions.
Based in Kuwait, Ali has collected large donations from within the country to support Nusra Front in Syria, most notably for purchases of arms and equipment. He also arranged travel for a number of foreign fighters to Syria, the UN said.
Also blacklisted was Islamic State spokesman Abu Muhammad Al Adnani, an Iraqi described by UN experts as one of the group’s “most influential emirs” and close to its leader Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi.
Said Arif, a former Algerian army officer who escaped house arrest in France in 2013 and joined Nusra Front in Syria, was the sixth name added to the list.
The sanctions include freezing of the men’s assets, banning them from international travel and making it illegal for anyone to financially or otherwise support them.
“As a result of the new listings, any individual or entity that provides financial or material support to the names detailed below, including the provision of arms or recruits, is eligible to be added to the Al Qaida Sanctions List and subject to the sanctions measures,” the UN Security Council resolution says.
Kuwait’s permanent delegate to the UN, Mansour Ayyad Al Otaibi, expressed regret for the decision to list the names of the two Kuwaitis but said the Gulf state would abide by the decision and implement all its terms.
In a statement on state media agency KUNA, Al Otaibi said Kuwaiti law prohibits citizens from being involved in illegal activities and having direct or indirect affiliation with any terrorist organisation.
However, he said the listing of Ajmi and Al Ali would not be permanent, “for there are certain mechanisms that regularise listing and omitting names of suspects, particularly when proven innocent of the charges of having links with terrorist organisations”.
Kuwait has previously been successful in persuading the UN Security Council to remove the “Islamic Daawa” group from an identical list after providing evidence that it had no links with any terrorist organisation.
The Security Council resolution “deplores and condemns in the strongest terms the terrorist acts of ISIL (Islamic State) and its violent extremist ideology, and its continued gross, systematic and widespread abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law”.
The resolution was drafted by the UK, which initially aimed to have it adopted by the end of August, but accelerated its plan after a surge by Islamic State, which poses the biggest threat to Iraq since Saddam Hussein was toppled by a US-led invasion in 2003.
“They cannot survive independent of the outside world and if that support from the outside world can been choked off then this organisation will not have the resources to continue its activities,” Britain’s UN Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant, council president this month, was quoted as saying after the resolution was adopted.
“That is partly the aim of this resolution,” he said.