US targets 5 al-Qaida operatives in Turkey with sanctions

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Treasury Department announced sanctions Thursday 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 Treasury said provided various forms of support to senior members of the organization that carried out the 9/11 attacks and other plots against the U.S.

Treasury’s designation of the men freezes any assets they have under U.S. jurisdiction and shuts them out of much of the global financial system. It is part of a long-running campaign against the support network for al-Qaida.

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

Among those designated are Majdi Salim, an Egyptian born lawyer who the agency said is one of the primary facilitators of al-Qaida activities in Turkey. The U.S. said he is the former leader of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, after taking over that role from al-Qaida leader Ayman Zawahiri.

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

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