October 5, 2015 / 6:30 PM / 2 years ago

U.S. slaps sanctions on four militants including Islamic state backers

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States said on Monday it had imposed sanctions on four people affiliated with Islamic State and another militant group, including two Russian nationals and a Briton.

The U.S. Treasury Department said three Islamic State supporters and a member of the so-called Caucasus Emirate were designated as foreign terrorists. The designations allow the U.S. government to freeze their assets and bars U.S. citizens from dealing with them.

The four were also put on the United Nations al Qaeda sanctions list, a Treasury statement said.

The action “highlights the ramp-up in U.S. and international efforts to aggressively target and destroy ISIL,” said Daniel L. Glaser, the Treasury’s assistant secretary for terrorist financing, referring to Islamic State by an acronym.

The statement said the four people targeted by the sanctions are:

- Aseel Muthana, a British national who has traveled to Syria to fight with Islamic State. His brother, Nasser Muthana, was designated a terrorist by the U.S. State Department last week, and both “were considered representative of the group’s recruitment drive in the West.”

- Islam Seit-Umarovich Atabiyev, a Russian national who runs the Islamic State’s Russian-language media operation. He has fought against the Syrian government and runs a school to train Syrian boys to become fighters for the group.

- Akhmed Chatayev. A text accompanying a video posted online in February “indicates that Chatayev is the commander of the Yarmouk Battalion, a Chechen faction of ISIL.”

- Zaurbek Guchayev, a Russian national based in Turkey, is a member of Caucasus Emirate, “a North Caucasus-based terrorist group that uses bombings, shootings, and attempted assassinations to try to expel the Russian government from the North Caucasus region.” He is responsible for directing the group’s activities in Syria.

Reporting by Mohammad Zargha; Editing by Jonathan Oatis

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