SDN Moves: OFAC strikes back, Trouble in the Congo, More Kony Womp Womp

A nice turn of pace for SDN activities. Sorry for the delay again.   Counter Narcotics Today OFAC designated a money-laundering cell operating between Peru and Spain (see, it was on purpose I delayed posting until today!…right). Of course, no designation can go without an Analyst Notebook chart for your viewing pleasure. Press release details are moderate, but given the SDNT context it is clear it is for transmission of proceeds from Colombia to Spain. Given the designated’s client list, he appears to be closely associated with the FARC and this goes straight to the point of FARC penetration of Europe via West Africa. I did a study a few years back on this and it seems to be the onward trend. That’s mainly notable because during my briefing I made someone cry… Manuel Aguirre Galindo, an SDN under the SDNTK program and a senior leader for the faltering AFO cartel was confirmed arrested Saturday. Good ole Manny was a senior level AFO member who allegedly oversaw a large financial aspect of their operations. Thus his arrest is a good notch on the belt for any OFAC and AML program. And is it just me, or has AFO been taking the biggest beating lately of all the cartels? Alternately, Stratfor tackles the question of whether the Zetas are really on their way out. They seems to think the Zetas will be around a little longer. I’m not going to object in the short term, but I don’t believe the Zetas will see long term existence. I did an article on why I think this earlier this year.   Counter-Terrorism This week seems to be a trade off between narco and terror. When one heats up, the other pipes down. However we did drone two senior members of al-Shabaab (not designated). ‘Murrica. The UN designated Muhammed Jamal al-Kashef, but he had previously been designated under OFAC and thus should already be in the filter.   Country Programs War crimes poster-boy and Facebook one-hit wonder Joseph Kony watch out, some 18 Bravos have bullets with your name on it. Kony is designated under SDGT. For those interested, State released a Q&A background on the P5+1 negotiations for Iran. I personally haven’t read it and probably won’t for a few days…or ever. But feel free to comment and pique my interest. DRC designated group M23 is starting more trouble in the Congo. Negotiations broke down and now they are getting smacked around by the military of the DRC. Reports are positive but I’m sure the group, or another equally bad one, will retreat into Rwanda and find itself fighting again a year from now. It’s unfortunate as that the talks broke down due to disagreements on amnesty. For these conflicts, Disarmament, Demobilization and Repatriation (DDR) ops are some of the most difficult issues. Having the rebels voluntarily disarm is the best way to guarantee future stability, yet the more brutal a group is the harder it is to forgive. Separating the bad apples from those that can be successfully repatriated is difficult, but when the bad apples are doing the talking its almost impossible to both seek peace and justice simultaneously....

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SDN Moves: SDGT nabbed in Libya, Al Shabaab firefights, Zetas operating in West Africa

Sorry that I didn’t make the Friday deadline for SDN Moves. We were all very busy on this end and figured we could squeeze it in during the holiday.   Terrorism In sequential raids, U.S. operators nabbed Abu Anas-al Libi, an SDGT designated as a core al-Qaeda member who was responsible for the embassy bombings in 1998. Naturally, the Libyan government protested a bit about their sovereignty but eventually piped down. It’s probably better for them to sweep this under the rug rather than broadcast that they are having troubles maintain positive control over their own territory. Given the current situation in Libya, the fact that high level SDGTs are able to move about freely is disconcerting but will most likely be a trend as Libya rebuilds its policing capabilities. This also brings to light another issue I worried about before Ghadaffi’s ouster. Usually when a country like this experiences a revolution, its important to retain intelligence assets that acted professionally to stand up a new organization, but equally important to get rid of the brutal thugs (i.e. Eastern Europe intelligence reform). The problem with Libya is everyone was basically a thug so they are most likely starting their agencies from scratch. Speaking of lawlessness, SEALs also conducted a raid against al-Shabaab at the same time (while it was against al-Shabaab, the target does not appear to be an SDN but is certainly a name you want in your filter). They encountered resistance and human shields and decided that bounding back was the best course of action. A degree of restraint that many of our enemies don’t have… Likewise, 11 men affiliated with al-Shabaab were arrested in Tanzania on Thursday. Continuing with the lawlessness theme, Human Rights Watch issued a report on the atrocities of SDGTs and FTOs operating in Syria. The report details atrocities of al-Nusra and ISIS, the new offshoot of AQI. While GL 16 places the burden of due diligence on the originator of any funds to the opposition forces, its reports such as this one that drive home why I suggest that financial institutions should conduct extensive due diligence on the transaction in any event. This would include profiles of the intended end user, end user checks and if related to trade at the minimum a look at the invoice, bill of lading and voyage route.   Narcotics The Zeta’s have been reportedly using West Africa as a transit hub for drugs to Europe. This really shouldn’t catch anyone by surprise. The FARC started this last year. Apparently New Jalisco and the Knights Templar are at war now. We’ll see how long this will last. Neither of these groups are prime targets for OFAC, but they should still be monitored. Also not surprising is 13 members of CDG being arrested in Texas. And this, ladies and gentlemen, is why you screen domestic wires as well.   And that’s all folks. Have a great rest of the holiday...

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SDN Moves: Jamaah Islamiya still exists, SDN on SDN violence, Templars decapitated…again

Today, OFAC designated two SDGTs for their support of terrorist organizations in Indonesia, primarily Aceh rebels and Jamaah Islamiya. The latter organization was responsible for the Bali bombing and is an AQ affiliate. It’s been a long time since I’ve even thought of those organizations, but I’m glad they are still on OFAC’s radar. Counter-Narcotics News On the Mexico front, forces recently captured Oscar Cornejo Tello, a regional (well, now past) leader of The Knights Templar cartel, an offshoot of La Familia and one of the stranger organizations down there. Apparently he used to be a police administrator…ugh. He was not designated but certainly not someone whose property you want to deal with. Counter-Terrorism News And in other news, two cases of SDN-on-SDN violence. Because the enemy of my enemy…is designated!!! 1. SOMALIA designation Omar Hammami was killed by Al Shabaab. Hammami was an AQ affiliate so I wouldn’t suggest shedding any tears. I also don’t think the FBI will be doling out the 5 million reward to Al Shabaab anytime soon, but I hear we would be more than happy to place it in a blocked account at a bank of their choosing… 2. Who needs a bunch of 18 bravos to take out Syria’s air defense when we can just outsource it to AQI…awkward. 3. Al Nusrah continues to gain ground, and this time in partnership with Ahrar al Sham Islamic Movement. The latter isn’t designated but is good filter material. Also looking at the armament they are using is a bit terrifying. Until Syria, I don’t think an AQ affiliate has had this type of firepower since we Hulk Smashed Afghanistan in 2001....

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