US targets 5 al-Qaida operatives in Turkey with sanctions

WASHINGTON (AP) – The US Treasury Department on Thursday announced sanctions against five men in Turkey suspected of providing financial services and travel assistance to al-Qaida.

The five are a mix of Turkish and Egyptian nationals who, according to the Treasury, provided various forms of support to senior members of the organization who carried out the September 11 attacks and other plots against the United States.

The designation of men by the Treasury freezes all the assets they have under American jurisdiction and excludes them from a large part of the global financial system. It is part of a long campaign against the al-Qaida support network.

The United States is working with Turkey and other allies as it seeks to “expose and disrupt” the organization’s support networks, said Andrea Gacki, director of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, in announcing this decision.

Among those named is Majdi Salim, an Egyptian-born lawyer who, according to the agency, is one of the main facilitators of al-Qaida activities in Turkey. The United States has said he is the former leader of Egypt’s Islamic Jihad, after taking over from al-Qaida leader Ayman Zawahiri.

The others were identified as Muhammad Nasr al-Din al-Ghazlani, an Egyptian national; Nurettin Muslihan, Turkish national; Cebrail Guzel, Turkish national; and Soner Gurleyen, a Turkish national.

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