Bloomberg News

UN Sanctions Kenyan, U.S. Citizen Over Somali-Insurgent Links

July 30, 2011

July 30 (Bloomberg) -- The United Nations Security Council imposed travel bans and asset freezes on a Kenyan-born man and a U.S. citizen over their links to al-Shabaab, the al-Qaeda linked insurgency group.

Hassan Mahat Omar, a 32-year-old Imam, was sanctioned for engaging in acts that threaten peace, security or stability in Somalia, the council said in a statement on the UN’s website yesterday. Omar is a leader of Masjid-ul-Axmar, an informal al- Shabaab affiliated center in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital, and is involved in recruiting new members and soliciting funds for al- Shabaab, it said.

The council also imposed the bans on Omar Hammani, a 27- year-old man from Alabama who it said is a “senior member” of al-Shabaab. Hammani is involved in recruitment, finance and payroll for foreign fighters in Somalia and is described as an explosives expert, it said.

The bans bring to 11 the number of groups and individuals targeted by the UN over the conflict in Somalia. The list includes al-Shabaab, which has waged a four-year insurgency against the Horn of Africa’s Western-backed government, and Hassan Dahir Aweys, who heads an alliance of groups opposed to Somali President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed’s administration.

Somalia has been mired in a civil war for two decades and hasn’t had a functioning central government since the 1991 ouster of dictator Mohamed Siad Barre.

--Editors: Tasneem Brogger, Benedikt Kammel.

To contact the reporter on this story: Paul Richardson in Nairobi at pmrichardson@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at asguazzin@bloomberg.net.


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