US sanctions against alleged IS financiers of child trafficking

WASHINGTON – The US announced on Monday that it is sanctioning five people accused of raising funds for the Islamic State group and using the funds to support the trafficking of children to serve as combatants for the organization.

The US Treasury Department says the actors are critical in helping extremists travel to Syria and other regions where ISIS operates.

Dwi Dahlia Susanti and her accomplices are accused of facilitating money transfers from Indonesia, Turkey and Syria, where the Treasury Department says Sustani used the funds to “smuggle teenage children out of the camps into the desert, where they are from ( IS) received ) foreign fighters, probably as “child recruits” for IS.

The sanctions, imposed by the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, block any property or other assets the individuals have in the United States, and those doing business with the sanctioned individuals could face secondary sanctions.

The announcement comes just two days ahead of a meeting of foreign ministers from the global anti-IS coalition in Morocco on Wednesday.


Secretary of State Antony Blinken was forced to cancel his planned attendance after testing positive for COVID-19, but the US will be represented by Undersecretary for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland, the third most senior US diplomat.

The Finance Ministry says several of the people allegedly carried out a large part of the transfers through Syria-based refugee camps by raising funds in Indonesia and Turkey, where some of the funds were used to “smuggle children out of the camps and… to deliver them to (IS). foreign fighters as potential recruits,” according to the Treasury Department.

Treasury Department Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson said the Treasury Department intends to “expose and disrupt an international intermediary network that has been assisting in the recruitment of (IS), including the recruitment of vulnerable children in Syria.”

According to a 2019 United Nations report, 12 percent of the roughly 40,000 foreign IS members identified in Iraq and Syria were children under the age of 18.


“The United States, as part of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, is committed to denying (IS) the ability to raise and move funds across multiple jurisdictions,” Nelson said in a press release. The US government refers to the group as ISIS, which stands for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.


Associated Press writer Matthew Lee contributed to this report.

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Justin Scacco

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