The US Department of Treasury designated on Monday an individual for acting as a financial facilitator for the Islamic State’s Khorasan Province (ISIS-K), active in Afghanistan, indicating that he has been operating a Turkey-based ‘hawala business’ to transfer funds to finance ISIS operations.
Hawala is an informal funds transfer system that allows for the transfer of funds from one person to another without the actual movement of money.
“This individual has provided support to ISIS-K’s operations in Afghanistan by facilitating international financial transactions that fund human trafficking networks and facilitating the movement of foreign fighters who seek to escalate tensions in Afghanistan and the region,” a statement by the Treasury Department said.
The designated individual’s identity has been announced as Ismatullah Khalozai and the statement provided the following information about him: “Ismatullah Khalozai has been an international financial facilitator for ISIS-K and has carried out missions for the senior ISIS leadership.
“For a period of two years, Ismatullah Khalozai operated a Turkey-based hawala business to transfer funds to finance ISIS-K operations. Previously, he operated a United Arab Emirates-based financing scheme, which involved sending luxury items to international destinations for resale to generate funds in support of ISIS-K.
“Khalozai has also carried out human smuggling operations for ISIS-K, including personally smuggling an ISIS-K courier from Afghanistan to Turkey.”
The US Treasury Department called for an immediate block on all properties and entities under Khalozai’s direct or indirect ownership.