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OFAC Takes Action Against Multiple Individuals Involved in Terrorists Weapons Trafficking Network in Eastern Africa

OFAC Takes Action Against Multiple Individuals Involved in Terrorists Weapons Trafficking Network in Eastern Africa

The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the U.S. Department of the Treasury designated the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria affiliate known as “ISIS-Somalia” for the first time on Tuesday, November 1, 2022. (ISIS) in a press release. 

OFAC Takes Action Against Multiple Individuals Involved In Terrorists Weapons Trafficking Networks in East Africa

What is OFAC’s SDN List?

The Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List (SDN List) is a list of individuals that OFAC has the authority to designate and add to, as well as the readiness to remove individuals from the SDN List in accordance with the law. The main objective of sanctions is to influence behavior in a good way rather than to punish.

Details on the Sanctioned Individuals and Entities by OFAC

The individuals and entities sanctioned serve as crucial links in a network that traffics in firearms and is closely linked to ISIS-Somalia. With close ties to al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and al-Shabaab, these networks mostly operate between Yemen and Somalia.

Several of the people designated were active al-Shabaab members or specifically sold weapons to the group. A key ISIS supporter in Brazil who has sought to act as a contact for the terrorist organization was also sanctioned  by OFAC.

Previous activities of the Terrorists Groups sanctioned by OFAC

To spread fear, terrorist organizations operating in East Africa had  continued to carry out violent attacks in Somalia, specifically targeting Somali citizens, government employees, and first responders.  For instance, Al-Shabaab took credit for a deadly attack in Mogadishu on October 29, 2022, which left more than 100 people dead and about 300 civilians injured. 

Somali business people and citizens who refuse to support them financially or with supplies are punished, intimidated, and killed by the gang. In order to secure weapons and other resources, ISIS-Somalia frequently collaborates with other terrorist groups like al-Shabaab and Somali pirates and smuggling companies, who will sell to any paying buyer.

List of Individuals added to the OFAC SDN List

View details on the people who have been designated here.

Liibaan Yousuf Mohamed

Abdirahman Mohamed Omar

Mahad Isse Aden

Isse Mohamoud Yusuf

Mahad Isse Aden

Abdirahman Fahiye Isse Mohamud

Mohamed Ahmed Qahiye

Abdirahman Fahiye Isse Mohamud

Ahmed Haji Ali Haji Omar

Liibaan General Trading Co.

Osama Abdelmongy Abdalla Bakr

Implications of the OFAC Sanction

As a result of this sanction, all of these people’s assets and interests in assets that are in the US or under the possession or control of Americans need to be blocked and disclosed to OFAC. Additionally, any entities that are directly or indirectly owned by one or more prohibited persons in excess of 50% are likewise blocked. OFAC regulations usually forbid all transactions involving any property or interests in property of designated or otherwise blocked people by U.S. persons or within the United States (including transactions transiting the United States).

What the OFAC Sanctions Mean to Compliance Officers

As a Compliance Officer of any Financial Institution or Virtual Asset Service Provider, you should ensure that your compliance tool has the updated list of the sanctioned individuals and entities to avoid transacting with them. This would save your organization from being penalized or sanctioned as well.


As a Crypto Asset User, Virtual Asset Service Provider or a Money Service Business, you are encouraged to have a Compliance and control set up in your financial institution to avoid transacting with any sanctioned individual, entity or wallet address. Failure to do so can lead to civil and criminal fines which can tarnish the reputation of your firm.

 A&D Forensics can assist you in setting up your compliance unit as well as trace and investigate cryptocurrency related crimes. Contact us today for further inquiries on our compliance and investigation services.

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Chioma Onyekelu is a highly skilled and accomplished professional in the field of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. She is a Certified Cryptocurrency Investigator and Crypto Compliance Specialist, as well as a Blockchain Forensic Specialist and a teacher. She is also a public speaker and her teachings include consultations and practical solutions for African Start-ups on the best and most cost-effective way to build with compliance in mind. With a wealth of knowledge and experience in these cutting-edge technologies, she is well-equipped to navigate the complex landscape of cryptocurrency-related crimes.

In her current role as a Blockchain Forensic Specialist at A&D Forensics, Chioma is responsible for tracing and investigating cryptocurrency-related crimes, as well as training law enforcement agents and compliance officers on the latest developments and best practices in the field. In addition, she is currently pursuing a Master's degree in Blockchain and Digital Currencies at the University of Nicosia in Cyprus, further solidifying her expertise and understanding of the technology.

Chioma's dedication and passion for the field is evident in her work, and she is committed to staying at the forefront of developments in cryptocurrency and blockchain technology to provide the best possible service to her clients. Her exceptional skills in educating and consulting make her a valuable asset to the industry and an authority in the field of Blockchain and Crypto Compliance.


Adedeji is a Forensic Investigation Practitioner and CertifiedBlockchain/Cryptocurrency Forensic
Investigator (CFE, CCI, CCFI & Reactor Certified) with more than Fifteen years of experience across few banks within the Nigeria Financial Sector and educator in Corporate workplace settings, Deji is uniquely qualified and involved in forensics analysis of Financial Infractions, Cryptocurrency crimes and designing plans that works for Government, Regulators, Law enforcement.

He was appointed by SEC Nigeria as Member Virtual Asset and Fintech Regulatory framework drafting Committee, He is a member of Global Digital Finance’s KYC/AML working group in France and a member of the Industry led Thinktank that worked on and came out with FATF cryptocurrency Travel rule InterMessaging Standard for Virtual Assets (IVMS101) to help combat money laundering and terrorism financing using cryptocurrencies around the globe.

His law enforcement training efforts on new money and cybercrime have seen him train many law enforcement agents in various countries i.e Nigeria Police, Nigeria Army CyberWarfare command, Zambia Financial Intelligence Unit, Zambia Central Bank and more.
He is Chainalysis Sole Africa Investigative Partner helping law enforcement investigate criminal organizations using cryptocurrency to conceal illiccit activities across Africa, he is also a training Partner for Blockchain Intelligence Group based out of Canada.

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