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FG uncovers alleged terrorism financial networks



FG uncovers alleged terrorism financial networks
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The Federal Government (FG) has announced the uncovering of an alleged terrorism financing network.

The Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) identified 15 entities, including nine individuals and six Bureau De Change (BDC) operators and firms, believed to be involved in financing terror activities.

The details were revealed in a statement issued by the Nigerian Intelligence Unit on Tuesday night, titled “Designation of Individuals and Entities for March 18, 2024.” The statement outlined plans for sanctions against the accused.

The document revealed that the Nigeria Sanctions Committee met on March 18, 2024, where specific individuals and entities were recommended for sanction following their involvement in terrorism financing.

“The Honourable Attorney General of the Federation, with the approval of the President, has thereupon designated the following individuals and entities to be listed on the Nigeria Sanctions List,” the document read in part.

One of the named individuals is Kaduna-based publisher Tukur Mamu, currently on trial for allegedly aiding the terrorists responsible for the Abuja-Kaduna train attack in March 2022.

According to the document, Mamu “participated in the financing of terrorism by receiving and delivering ransome payments over the sum of $200,000 US in support of ISWAP terrorists for the release of hostages of the Abuja-Kaduna train attack.”

The document said one of the individuals is “the suspected attacker of the St. Francis Catholic Church Owo, Ondo State on June 5, 2022 and the Kuje Correctional Center, Abuja on July 5, 2022.”

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Another was described as a member of the terrorist group Ansarul Muslimina Fi Biladissudam, the group is associated with Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.

“The subject was trained and served under Muktar Belmokhtar, aka One Eyed Out, led Al-Mourabitoun Katibat of AQIM in Algeria and Mali.”

Another individual was identified as “a senior commander of the Islamic State of West Africa Province Okene”, who “came into limelight in 2012 as North Central wing of Boko Haram.

Another was described as “a financial courier to ISWAP Okene. She is responsible for the disbursement of funds to the widows/wives of the terrorist fighters of the group.”

According to the document, another of the individuals “in 2015, transferred N60m to terrorism convicts.”

He was also said to have “received a sum of N189m between 2016 and 2018.”

The same person is said to “own entities and businesses reported in the UAE court judgment as facilitating the transfer of terrorist funds from Dubai to Nigeria.”

Another individual was said to have “received a total of N57m from between 2014 and 2017”, while another was said to have “had a total inflow of N61.4 bn and a total outflow of N51.7bn from his accounts.”

The announcement comes amidst ongoing security concerns in Nigeria. The country has faced a long-standing struggle against Boko Haram and other terrorist groups. The government hopes that identifying and sanctioning these financiers will disrupt their ability to fund operations.