Treasury Department: Islamic State Building Base In Gaza Strip; Using Palestinian Enclave to Recruit and Deploy Fighters
24 Feb 2016
TEL AVIV – With little fanfare, the Treasury Department earlier this month imposed financial sanctions on three Islamic State leaders, including a jihadist from the Gaza Strip it said was central to recruiting and deploying foreign fighters and establishing an IS base inside Gaza.
The move highlights the growing threat of the Gaza Strip serving as a central headquarters for IS.
“Treasury and our partners worldwide are aggressively targeting ISIL’s ability to earn and make use of its money, and we are making progress on many fronts,” said Adam J. Szubin, Acting Under-Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence. Szubin said the new sanctions target “key ISIL leadership figures responsible for oil and gas production, foreign terrorist fighter recruitment and facilitation, and other financial facilitation.”
One of the three newly-sanctioned IS leaders is Gaza-based Salafi jihadist Husayn Juaythini. Treasury accused Juaythini of providing support and services to IS “by facilitating communications and the movement of foreign terrorist fighters and conducting financial activities in support” of the terrorist organization.
The Treasury profile of Juaythini stated that he was “the link” between IS Leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and armed groups in Gaza, and “had money that he was using to build an ISIL presence in Gaza.”
The profile continued:
Juaythini traveled to Syria in September 2014 to pledge allegiance to ISIL and was tasked to return to Gaza and establish a foothold for ISIL there. …
Juaythini not only maintains ties with ISIL, but as of mid-2014 was deputy head of the extremist group and U.S.-designated SDGT Mujahidin Shura Council (MSC). In 2013, Juaythini attempted to acquire supplies for the MSC in the environs of Jerusalem to conduct attacks against Israel and help the group overcome financial difficulties.
He also worked with a Libya-based facilitator, who served as the primary money and weapons facilitator for Juaythini’s activities in Gaza. As of January 2015, Juaythini was instrumental in fostering connections between Gaza- and Libya-based terrorists, and facilitating their travel to Syria.
The Treasury Department also sanctioned Faysal al-Zahrani, a top oil official in Syria and IS recruiter and religious adviser Turki al-Binali.
Just last week, Breitbart Jerusalem reported a Palestinian jihadi militant had been killed while fighting for IS in Libya, the organization said.
Some 100 Palestinians have reportedly fought for IS in Syria, Iraq, and Libya.
Over the last three years, some 30 Gazans have been killed while fighting for IS in Syria and Iraq, and another four in Libya, including Abu Azra.
Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.