America bans Kenyan linked to al-Shabaab


The US Treasury Department announced on Friday that it is imposing financial sanctions on a Kenyan described as both a key figure in Somalia’s al Shabaab insurgency and the leader of a mosque in Nairobi’s Eastleigh estate.

Hassan Mahat Omar is said by the department to have decision-making authority regarding the internal political and operational affairs of al Shabaab, which the United States terms a terrorist organisation.

Mr Omar as well as other top militants use the Eastleigh mosque to “raise funds, recruit and disseminate propaganda on behalf of Shabaab,” the department said in a statement.

Mr Omar was born in Garissa and carries a Kenyan passport, according to the announcement.

The statement forbids US citizens from engaging in financial transactions with Mr Omar and freezes any assets he may have under US jurisdiction.

The Treasury Department took the same action in regard to Omar Hammami, an American citizen known as Abu Mansur al-Amriki.

He is said to serve as a military tactician and financial manager for al Shabaab.

Separately, the United Nations Security Council voted unanimously on Friday to re-establish the UN Monitoring Group on Eritrea and Somalia for a 12-month period.

The group issued a 417-page report on Thursday accusing named Kenyans of giving assistance to al Shabaab.

The report also says that scores of Kenyans are fighting in support of al Shabaab inside Somalia.

The Security Council acted on Friday without commenting on the monitoring group’s findings.

Meanwhile, a visit to Eastleigh by the Nation team found out that the Muslim Youth Centre in Nairobi’s Majengo slums where hundreds of Kenyan youths are said by UN investigators to undergo training before joining al Shabaab is barely 70 metres from the District Officer’s office in Pumwani.



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