Mexico blacklists 620 individuals and firms for their involvement with terrorism

According to a list dated April 6, 2015 given by the Ministry of Finance to EL UNIVERSAL, Mexico does not allow banking transactions with some people and companies in Iraq, Iran, Uganda, Bosnia, North Korea and Congo, among other nations.
The list also includes Tarkhan Tayumurazovich Batirashvili, one of the leaders of the Islamic State. (Photo: Reuters)
08/12/2015
11:48
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Mexico's financial system blacklisted 620 individuals and corporations for their alleged links with international terrorism, especially with Al-Qaeda, the Taliban and one of the leaders of the Islamic State (IS).

According to a list dated April 6, 2015 given by the Ministry of Finance to EL UNIVERSAL, Mexico does not allow banking transactions with some people and companies in Iraq, Iran, Uganda, Bosnia, North Korea and Congo, among other nations.

Some of the people included in the list are three of the "most wanted terrorists" by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI): Isnilon Totoni Hapilon, Abdul Rahman Yasin and Saif al-Adel.

According to the U.N. Security Council Totoni Hapilon was included in the list on December 6, 2005 for being an associate of Al-Qaeda, Osama Bin Laden or the Taliban and participating in the financing, planning, preparation or perpetration of terrorist attacks carried out by the Abu Sayyaf group.

The FBI says he was indicted in the District of Columbia for his alleged involvement in terrorist acts against U.S. citizens and other foreigners in Philippines.

Rahman Yasin was included in the list on October 17, 2001. According to the FBI he is wanted for his alleged involvement in a terrorist attack at the World Trade Center in New York City on February 26, 1993, that left six dead and hundreds of injured.

Saif al-Adel is accused of participating in the bombings of the U.S. Embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and in Nairobi, Kenya, on August 7, 1998.

The list also includes Tarkhan Tayumurazovich Batirashvili, one of the leaders of the Islamic State. He was blacklisted by the U.N. on January 23, 2015 for his involvement with Al-Qaeda in the financing, planning, preparation or perpetration of attacks by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and in supplying arms to these groups.

On November 23 a video attributed to the Islamic State circulating on social networks threatened the 60 countries that are part of the Global Coalition against the IS, among them Mexico.

The warning was taken with humor by users on social networks. However, Gerardo Rodríguez Sánchez Lara, professor at the University of the Americas Puebla, thinks that this threat should not be taken lightly.

"Mexico can not eliminate the hypothesis of international terrorism and that at some point we may be used as a platform to launch attacks against other countries or national targets. However, so far the probability is low," he explained.

Raúl Benítez Manaut, chairman of Colectivo de Análisis de la Seguridad con Democracia (Group for the Analysis of Security with Democracy), said that it is important that the government of Mexico joins the international efforts against terrorism, which are not only military.

"This makes Mexico an active part of an international security system and shows solidarity with a community of nations to which it belongs. This means that we are allies of the United States and European countries, and we must work with them on financial intelligence issues and other topics such as border security," the researcher at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) said.

As for the companies or institutions included in the list, the Mexican government blacklisted the Al-Haramain Charitable Foundation, with offices in Indonesia, Pakistan, Somalia, Kenya and Tanzania, among other countries, for its relation with Al -Qaeda, Osama Bin Laden or the Taliban.

It also includes the Benevolence International Foundation, that describes itself as a non-profit organization that brings humanitarian aid to various countries with operations in Bosnia, Chechnya, Pakistan, China, Russia and other nations. However, the Treasury Department says that it supports terrorist organizations.

Financial institutions such as Bank of East Land and Bank Sepah are also included in the list. According to the United Nations, Bank of East Land was blacklisted on January 22, 2013 "for participating in programs of North Korea related to nuclear activities, weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles and supporting them by illegal means" while the U.S. Treasury Department says that Bank Sepah is the “financial linchpin of Iran's missile procurement network and has actively assisted Iran's pursuit of missiles capable of carrying weapons of mass destruction.”

The list also includes Malek Ashtar University, that according to the U.S. State Department is part of Iran's missile proliferation system. Iran's Atomic Energy Organization and the Cruise Missile Industry Group are also blocked.

One of the individuals blacklisted by Mexico is Jean-Marie Lugerero Runiga, leader of the March 23 Movement (M23), a military rebel group that operates in some areas of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

 

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