South Asia

Pakistani IS commander received funds via US: reports

Funds sourced in the U.S. have apparently made their way into the coffers of a Pakistan-based commander of Islamic State, the militant jihadist outfit that has overrun parts of Iraq and Syria since last year.

According to Pakistan’s Express Tribune and other media reports Yousaf al-Salafi, said to be a “commander” of IS, has “confessed during investigations” that he received funds through the U.S., although details of the precise origin or ownership of the funds remains unclear.

Three intelligence sources also told Reuters said that al-Salafi, described as a Pakistani-Syrian, had come to Pakistan via Turkey five months ago and was arrested along with two accomplices sometime in December or January, in a raid conducted in Lahore.

Although no source was named in the report the publication mentioned one person “privy to the investigations” saying that al-Salafi had admitted that the funds that came in from the U.S. aimed to help him “run the organisation in Pakistan and recruit young people to fight in Syria.”

Reuters added that al Salafi and one of his accomplices, Lahore prayer leader Hafiz Tayyab, received about $600 per person that they sent to Syria to fight alongside IS.

According to several Russian news agencies al-Salafi’s claims have been shared with the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and also with CENTCOM boss General Lloyd Austin during their recent visits to Islamabad.

Responding to a request for comments from The Hindu, the U.S. State Department said, “We are actively engaged with the government of Pakistan to support efforts to deny terrorist organisations such as ISIL or their affiliates safe haven and material support.”

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Printable version | Jul 30, 2021 6:17:24 AM |

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