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: SDNTKs captured, designated, dead and confirmed dead…plus some AQ designations

Well this past weekend has been a little busy on the Mexico front.   OFAC designated a Guatemalan man1 under the SDNTK program. Guatemala has been an extensive target for designations as the country serves as a transition point for both the Zetas (which is the case this time) and the Sinaloa. Another name to add to the filter may be¬†Alexander Miguel Mejia Peace, who according to Prensa is a close associate. Likewise, OFAC slammed a great designation on the leader of a Madrassa and his network which serves to finance AQ, Talibs and LeT. Talk about horizontal diversification…   SDNTK Mario Ramirez Trevino, the now-former head of the Gulf Cartel was confirmed as captured. (I wouldn’t rely on the map the BBC put up by the way.)   SDNTK Eduardo Arrellano Felix was sentenced to 15 years in a federal slammer, finally tying up the old leadership of the AFO.   Captured SDNTK Miguel Trevino (Z-40) confirmed to authorities that former Zeta’s head Hubierto “The Executioner” Lazcano is actually dead. This may sound funny, but after a group of Mexican Marines intercepted his convoy and killed him, the Zetas raided the funeral home and stole his body away2 before the authorities could conclusively confirm that it is him. There are a lot of conspiracies revolving around Narco Kingpins that makes 2Pac’s legacy look like child’s play. This is important because the removal of a longtime Zeta leader goes a long way in hurting the legitimacy and fear of the organization.   1Side note, I wouldn’t translate his nickname in mixed company… 2Another side note, during my thesis (which was on the Zetas) I stayed up all night reading a great overview book whose background is centered around Lazcano. Hopping on the metro the next morning all bright and perky to talk with some of the OGT people that do the SDNTK designations, I opened up the WSJ and found the above link of his death. As opposed to a long discussion it was just a bit of venting instead…...

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