U.S. sanctions six Nigerian nationals for connections to Boko Haram

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March 26 (UPI) — The United States sanctioned six people connected to the Nigerian terrorist organization Boko Haram.

The Treasury Department added the people to its list of “specially designated nationals and blocked persons,” the department announced on Friday. The group of Nigerian nationals includes Abdurrahman Ado Musa, Salihu Yusuf Adamu, Bashir Ali Yusuf, Muhammed Ibrahim Isa, Ibrahim Ali Alhassan, and Surajo Abubakar Muhammad.

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Last year, the men were found guilty by a federal court in Abu Dhabi of setting up a Boko Haram cell in the United Arab Emirates to raise funds for armed fighters in Nigeria. They were also convicted of attempting to send $782,000 from Dubai to Nigeria.

Adamu and Muhammad were sentenced to life in prison for violating UAE anti-terrorism laws while Musa, Yusuf, Isa and Alhassan were sentenced to 10 years in prison followed by deportation.

Under the terms of Friday’s sanction, any property or interests within the United States owned by the individuals must be blocked and reported to the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control. The sanction also bans people in the United States from engaging in certain financial interactions with the men on the list.

“With this action, the United States joins the UAE in targeting terrorist financing networks of mutual concern,” Under Secretary of the Treasury Brian Nelson said in a press release.

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“Treasury continues to target financial facilitators of terrorist activity worldwide. We welcome multilateral action on this Boko Haram network to ensure that it is not able to move any further funds through the international financial system.”

According to a statement from the State Department, the men were sanctioned for “having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, Boko Haram.”

The United States designated Boko Haram as a terrorist group in 2013.

“The Nigeria-based group is responsible for numerous attacks in the northern and northeastern regions of the country as well as in the Lake Chad Basin in Cameroon, Chad, and Niger that have killed thousands of people since 2009,” the State Department release said.