UN reveals terrorists behind frozen accounts

 UN reveals terrorists behind frozen accounts
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The UN Security Council has released the names of 20 individuals and foundations belonging to al-Qaeda and Taliban-affiliated terrorist groups operating in Indonesia whose bank accounts holding billions of rupiah have been frozen by the Financial Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (PPATK).

According to a statement by the UN Security Council, the 17 individuals include prominent terrorist convict and firebrand Muslim cleric Abu Bakar Ba'asyir and Umar Patek, who was sentenced to 20 years in prison for his role in several terrorist attacks in the country, including the 2002 Bali bombings and the 2001 Jakarta church bombings.

Other individuals include Jamaah Islamiyah (JI) militant group members Muhammad Jibril Abdul Rahman, Agus Dwikarna and Angga Dimas Pershada; Ba'asyir's confidants Mohaad Iqbal Abdurrahman and Mochammad Achwan; and Ba'asyir's sons Abdul Rosyid Ridho Ba'asyir and Abdulrahim Ba'asyir.

"[Jibril] is a senior member of Jamaah Islamiyah, directly involved in obtaining funding for terrorist attacks. He was sentenced to five years in prison on June 2010," says a statement on the UN Security Council Al-Qaida Sanction List of individuals and entities subject to the asset freeze, travel bans and arms embargo.

The three foundations, whose assets have been frozen by the PPATK, are JI's humanitarian wing, the Hilal Ahmar Society of Indonesia (HASI) or Indonesia Hilal Ahmar Society for Syria, Al-Haramain Foundation of Indonesia or Al-Manahil Foundation of Indonesia, and Jama'ah Anshorut Tauhid (JAT).

"[HASI] is ostensibly the humanitarian wing of JI. It operates in Lampung, Jakarta, Semarang, Yogyakarta and Makassar in Indonesia. It has been recruiting, funding and facilitating travel of foreign terrorist fighters to Syria. It is not affiliated with the humanitarian group International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies [IFCR]," the sanction lists says.

In addition, the list states: "[The JAT] was founded and led by Abu Bakar Ba'asyir. It was established on July 27, 2008 in Solo, Indonesia. It is associated with Jemaah Islamiyah or JI."

PPATK deputy chairman Agus Santoso confirmed the list of 17 individuals and three foundations issued by the UN Security Council, saying that they were part the global terrorist network listed in United Nations Security Council Resolution No. 1267.

Globally, 380 assets belonging to individuals and NGOs supporting al-Qaeda and the Taliban in UN member countries, including Indonesia, have been frozen, said the PPATK.

"The PPATK moved to ask financial authorities to suspend the 20 accounts after receiving recommendations from the UN Security Council in February," Agus said on Wednesday.

Agus added that the move was taken to block money transfers from international terrorist groups to Indonesia.

With regard to terrorist funding from local sources, a PPATK investigation in 2014 found that a lack of supervision by financial authorities resulted in the country seeing an increasing number of cash transfers allegedly channeled to fund terror activities in the country in 2014.

PPATK chairman Muhammad Yusuf said in January that most of the cash transfers took place in Jakarta, West Java, East Java, Central Java, Central Sulawesi, Banten, Yogyakarta, West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) and South Sulawesi.

"The most apparent funding type is domestic funding, which comes from donations and the misuse of funds intended for nonprofit organisations, as well as cash obtained from criminal activities such as robberies," Yusuf said.

Yusuf further said the transferred cash was also used to fund activities related to programs to maintain the existence of radical groups across the country.

"For example in Poso, Central Sulawesi, transferred funds were used to finance the basic needs of the wives and widows of terrorists. They don't keep the money in their bank accounts for long. As soon as it is transferred, they withdraw it and move the cash from one hand to another. That way, it will be hard to track the funding," Yusuf added.

"Corporations or enterprises, especially foundations, pose a higher risk of being used as tools to launder terrorist funds. In terms of actors, students and unregistered NGO officials are among those prone to being involved in the process of money laundering for terror," Yusuf added.

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