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ANKARA: The US Treasury Department has blacklisted two Turkey-based procurement agents helping Daesh and four companies linked to the terror group operating in Syria, Turkey, across the Gulf and Europe by providing logistical and financial support.

The move is linked to government efforts to eliminate and sanction the remaining financial and recruiting networks keeping Daesh alive in the Middle East.

The targets have been chosen in line with US Executive Order 13224, intended to identify terrorists and those who have materially helped or supported them, or offered them financial, material, or technological support.

On the list, Sahloul Money Exchange Company’s transfers of thousands of dollars to Daesh operatives in Turkey in 2016 were revealed. 

The company was also holding deposits from Daesh-linked people trying to reach Turkey from Syria.

The Turkey-based Ismail and Ahmet Bayaltun brothers are also identified on the list by their material assistance and equipment support for Daesh fighters through their export-import company ACL Ithalat & Ihracat in Sanliurfa, a city just across Turkey-Syrian border.

Some Turkish news outlets had reported four years ago the company’s suspicious procurement of aluminum pigments used for producing bombs. 

The Turkish company was believed to send this material to Daesh networks in Syria.

Ismail Bayaltun was taken into custody in June 2015 over the reports that Daesh fighters received freight shipments from Turkey that were sent with “Bayaltun” inscribed on the packages.

Just a month later, Daesh carried out a bloody suicide bomb attack in Suruc, in the southeastern Sanliurfa province, where a total of 34 people were killed and 70 were seriously injured.

The report said that all property and interests in the possession of Ismail Bayaltun in the US or that are in the control or possession of US persons are blocked and should be reported to the Treasury Department.

“Persons that engage in certain transactions with the individual designated today may themselves be exposed to sanctions or subject to an enforcement action,” the report underlined.

The siblings, the No.1 suspects in the report, still have public social media accounts.

Their blacklisted outfit is registered as an electronic equipment and materials company, and they also claim to produce industrial equipment. According to Colin Clarke, an expert on terror financing networks with the Soufan Group, the recent moves by the US Treasury against companies and individuals linked to Daesh is a positive development, but in no way will this eradicate the financial and logistical sources of the group.

“We are likely to see Daesh focus even more on raising, storing, transferring and laundering funds in order to keep its operational capabilities robust,” Clarke told Arab News, adding: “The US will need to cooperate with a range of stakeholders, including both countries in the region and private sector entities to continue to identify and track Daesh movements of money.”

More than 300 people have lost their lives in Daesh-claimed attacks in Turkey.


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