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US slaps sanction on ‘four militants’ – Efforts to destroy IS

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WASHINGTON, Oct 6, (Agencies): The United States said on Monday it had imposed sanctions on four people affiliated with Islamic State and another militant group, including two Russian nationals and a Briton. The US Treasury Department said three Islamic State supporters and a member of the so-called Caucasus Emirate were designated as foreign terrorists.

The designations allow the US government to freeze their assets and bars US citizens from dealing with them. The four were also put on the United Nations al Qaeda sanctions list, a Treasury statement said. The action “highlights the ramp-up in US and international efforts to aggressively target and destroy ISIL,” said Daniel L. Glaser, the Treasury’s assistant secretary for terrorist financing, referring to Islamic State by an acronym. The statement said the four people targeted by the sanctions are:

■ Aseel Muthana, a British national who has traveled to Syria to fight with Islamic State. His brother, Nasser Muthana, was designated a terrorist by the US State Department last week, and both “were considered representative of the group’s recruitment drive in the West.”

■ Islam Seit-Umarovich Atabiyev, a Russian national who runs the Islamic State’s Russianlanguage media operation. He has fought against the Syrian government and runs a school to train Syrian boys to become fighters for the group.

■ Akhmed Chatayev. A text accompanying a video posted online in February “indicates that Chatayev is the commander of the Yarmouk Battalion, a Chechen faction of ISIL.”

■ Zaurbek Guchayev, a Russian national based in Turkey, is a member of Caucasus Emirate, “a North Caucasus-based terrorist group that uses bombings, shootings, and attempted assassinations to try to expel the Russian government from the North Caucasus region.” He is responsible for directing the group’s activities in Syria.

Meanwhile, a new trial date has been set for a man charged with plotting a US attack after receiving overseas training. Columbus, Ohio resident Abdirahman Sheik Mohamud has pleaded not guilty to charges of supporting terrorism, supporting a terrorist group and making a false statement involving international terrorism. Judge James Graham on Friday rescheduled the trial until Jan. 4 at the request of government prosecutors and Mohamud’s attorney. The trial had been set to begin Monday.

The 23-year-old Mohamud is accused of receiving training on weapons, combat and tactics in Syria, then returning to the US with a plan to attack a military base or a prison. In other development a court-ordered report has found that a 21-year-old suburban Chicago man facing terrorism charges is competent to stand trial despite his talk of shadowy conspiracies.

The report’s conclusion was disclosed at a pretrial hearing Monday for Adel Daoud in a Chicago federal court. He’s denied trying to ignite an inert bomb outside a Chicago bar in 2012 in an FBI sting. Daoud told Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman in August that there’s a conspiracy against him involving Freemasons and Illuminati. Defense attorney Thomas Durkin said at Monday’s hearing he may challenge the report’s finding. He told reporters later that Daoud’s conspiracy theories and other behavior raised questions about his mental health. Coleman has set Jan. 5 as the trial date after repeated delays. She said Monday she won’t delay it again.

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