Saudi, Bahrain classify Iran's ICRG and Soleimani among terror list - SPA

Saudi Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan with US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. (SPA)
Updated 23 October 2018

Saudi, Bahrain classify Iran's ICRG and Soleimani among terror list - SPA

  • Mnuchin says US and 6 other Middle East countries are taking action to expose and disrupt terrorist activities by the Taliban and Iran to undermine the Afghan government
  • The 7 nations make up the Terrorist Financing Targeting Center which has an operations center in Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia said on Tuesday it and Bahrain had added Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps and senior officers of its Quds Force to their lists of people and organizations suspected of involvement in terrorism.

The Saudi state news agency SPA quoted a statement from the security services saying Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force, and the force’s Hamed Abdollahi and Abdul Reza Shahlai were named on the list.

The US Department of the Treasury in 2011 alleged that Soleimani, Abdollahi and Shahlai were linked to a plot to assassinate Saudi Arabia’s former ambassador to the United States and current foreign minister of the Kingdom, Adel Al-Jubeir, and imposed sanctions on them.

Saudi Arabia’s State Security Presidency and the Terrorist Financing Targeting Center, a US-Gulf initiative to stem finance to militant groups, sanctioned and designated 9 individuals associated with the Afghan Taliban and their Iranian facilitators.

The center was established in May 2017 during US President Donald Trump’s trip to Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia and the United States co-chair the group and Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates are also members.

“In a collective effort to identify, tackle and share information related to terrorist financing networks and their activities of mutual concerns, including threats emerging from countries supporting terrorism and terrorist organizations, and in coordinating among Terrorist Financing Targeting Center Members to take actions, including designating and other measures against the terrorists and their financial networks, TFTC co-chair (Saudi Arabia and the US), as well as the other TFTC Members (Bahrain, the UAE, Kuwait, Oman, and Qatar), a statement on SPA read.

Some of those mentioned were already on US and UN sanctions lists.
They also labeled the following Taliban figures including Iranian facilitators:

1. Mohammad Ebrahim Owhadi

2. Esmail Razzavi Abdullah Samad Farugui

3. Mohammad Daoud Muzzamil

4. Abdulrahim Manan

5. Mohammad Naim Barich

6. Abdulaziz Shah Zamani

7. Sadr Ibrahim

8. Hafiz Abdulmaj

This action is the third collective TFTC designation action since the center was launched. 

The office of the Revolutionary Guards and Iran’s foreign ministry were not immediately available for comment on Tuesday. The Quds Force is the extraterritorial branch of the Revolutionary Guards.

The action will result in the freezing of all assets, properties and related revenues of the named individuals in the designating countries and people are prohibited from engaging in any transactions with them.

Two Saudis among 31 foreigners killed in Easter Day attacks in Sri Lanka

Updated 23 April 2019

Two Saudis among 31 foreigners killed in Easter Day attacks in Sri Lanka

  • Mohamed Jafar and Hany Osman, cabin crew with Saudi Arabian Airlines, were in transit and staying at one of the three hotels targeted
  • Saudi Ambassador Abdulnasser Al-Harthi says officials are awaiting the results of DNA tests

COLOMBO: Two Saudis were among 31 foreigners killed in a string of Easter Sunday suicide bombings in Sri Lanka, the Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry said on Monday, a day after the devastating attacks on hotels and churches killed at least 290 people and wounded nearly 500.

The extent of the carnage began to emerge as information from government officials, relatives and media reports offered the first details of those who had died. Citizens from at least eight countries, including the United States, were killed, officials said.

Among them were Saudis Mohammed Jafar and Hany Osman. They worked as cabin crew on Saudi Arabian Airlines, and were in transit and staying at one of the three hotels that were hit.

Saudi Ambassador Abdulnasser Al-Harthi said that officials are awaiting the results of DNA tests on the two Saudi victims, and only after these are received will their names be confirmed.

Cabinet spokesman Rajitha Senaratne said the Sri Lankan government believes the vast scale of the attacks, which clearly targeted the minority Christian community and outsiders, suggested the involvement of an international terrorism network.

“We don’t think a small organization can do all that,” he said. “We are now investigating international support for them and their other links — how they produced the suicide bombers and bombs like this.”

The attacks mostly took place during church services or when hotel guests were sitting down to breakfast. In addition to the two Saudis, officials said the foreign victims included one person from Bangladesh, two from China, eight from India, one from France, one from Japan, one from The Netherlands, one from Portugal, one from Spain, two from Turkey, six from the UK, two people with US and UK dual nationalities, and two with Australian and Sri Lankan dual nationalities.

Three of Danish billionaire Anders Holch Povlsen’s four children were among the foreigners who were killed, a spokesman for the family confirmed. Povlsen is the wealthiest man in Denmark, the largest landowner in Scotland and owns the largest share of British online fashion and cosmetics retailer Asos.

Two Turkish engineers working on a project in Sri Lanka also died in the attacks, the English-language Daily Sabah newspaper reported. Turkey’s foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu gave their names as Serhan Selcuk Narici and Yigit Ali Cavus.

Fourteen foreign nationals remain unaccounted for, the Sri Lankan foreign ministry said, adding that they might be among unidentified victims at the Colombo Judicial Medical Officer’s morgue.

Seventeen foreigners injured in the attacks were still being treated at the Colombo National Hospital and a private hospital in the city, while others had been discharged after treatment.