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U.S. targets terror operatives and charcoal smugglers

The Treasury Department on Wednesday announced that OFAC had targeted 26 individuals and entities connected with the terrorist group al-Shabaab, including 15 financial facilitators and operatives, four charcoal smugglers, and seven of their associated companies. This action targets key regional leaders, affiliates, and members of the terrorist group in Somalia who are involved in a wide range of activities in support of al-Shabaab, including financial facilitation, business activities, collection of funds on behalf of the terrorist group, proliferation of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), and illegal charcoal smuggling from Somalia, all of which have exacerbated local conflicts and suffering.

Charcoal smuggling has contributed to local conflicts and revenue generation for groups like al-Shabaab, as well as causing deforestation and other environmental damage. The illicit charcoal trade has previously generated the equivalent of more than $20 million in revenue per year for its associated smugglers, traffickers, and al-Shabaab. Due to its role in fueling instability in Somalia and serving as a source of revenue for criminal and terrorist organizations, the export and import of Somali charcoal after 2012 was banned pursuant to United Nations Security Council Resolution 2036.

For the names and identification information of the designated individuals and entities, see the May 24, 2023, BankersOnline OFAC Update.

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