The United States has sanctioned an Australian businessman who is in prison on allegations that he is an al-Qaida facilitator, and the Biden administration has blacklisted two of his accomplices.
On Wednesday, the State Department and the Treasury Department announced that they would be freezing the assets of two men with ties to Ahmed Luqman Talib, who was sanctioned by the United States in 2020 and arrested by Australian authorities in March 2021 for plotting incursions into foreign states for the purpose of engaging in hostile activities.
The United States claims that Talib helped al-Qaida move people and money throughout the globe by using his Melbourne gemstones firm to do so. In 1999, the United States officially labeled Al-Qaida as a foreign terrorist group.
Two of Talib’s business associates, his brother-in-law Musad Turkmen of Turkey and businessman Mohamad Irshad Mohamad Haris Nizar of Sri Lanka, were sanctioned by the Biden administration on Wednesday.
Officials from the Treasury Department have said that Nizar and Talib have been working together in Sri Lanka since at least 2018. Together, their business operations have brought them close to $200,000 year in profit.
Officials have said that Turkmen has been investing in real estate with Talib in Turkey since at least the latter half of 2018.
Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson stated in a statement, “Treasury is taking this step to further destroy a worldwide al-Qaida financial facilitation and operational planning network.”
U.S. citizens are prohibited from engaging in any financial transactions with the sanctioned individuals as a result of the penalties announced on Wednesday.