Washington/Ankara – The United States has imposed sanctions on five people for supporting Al Qaeda, including a person linked with the Turkish intelligence agency. Antony Blinken, US Secretary of State, announced sanctions on three Turkish and two Egyptian citizens. One of the Turkish nationals relates to Turkish intelligence. Besides, they are linked with Al Qaeda and its affiliated terrorist groups in Syria.
Last week, while announcing the sanctions, Antony Blinken said that the United States is committed to act against Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups. This includes groups providing financial support to Al Qaeda. The United States has imposed sanctions on five Al Qaeda supporters operating from Turkey. Those who intend to harm the United States, its interests and its citizens will continue to be targeted.
The Office of Foreign Assets Control of the US Treasury Department released the names of five sanctioned individuals, including three Turkish nationals Nurettin Muslihan, Cebrail Guzel and Soner Gurleyen and two Egyptians, Muhammad Nasr al-Din al-Ghazlani and Salim Majdi. Salim Majdi is a lawyer, and Al Ghazalani’s role is of a ‘financial courier’.
Turkish citizen Soner Gurleyen is part of the Turkish intelligence agency and has links with Al Qaeda and its allied groups in Syria. It is claimed that Soner Gurleyen was a part of the voluntary organisation connected with Turkish President Recep Erdogan. In the last decade, Turkey’s involvement in supplying arms to Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups in Syria is coming to light. It is said that Soner Gurleyen was the facilitator and a link between Turkey and Al Qaeda.
Russia informed Soner Gurleyen’s name to the United Nations for having links with Al Qaeda. In 2019 he was detained by Nigerian authorities to supply arms to a terrorist organisation in Africa. The United States has taken the action of imposing sanctions against him, which puts Turkey in a very questionable position.
It is being observed that Al Qaeda is regrouping following the acquisition of power by Taliban in Afghanistan. Hence actions of the US agencies are of great significance.