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US Imposes Sanctions on Jamaica-based Cleric for Supporting IS

FILE - A soldier walks past a black flag commonly used by Islamic State militants.

U.S. Treasury authorities on Tuesday sanctioned a Jamaica-based Islamic cleric for suspected links with the Islamic State terrorist group.

Abdullah Ibrahim al-Faisal has been added to the Specially Designated Global Terrorists list for providing "recruitment services" to IS and influencing people to carry out terror attacks, a statement by the U.S. Department of Treasury read.

"Faisal has recruited for and provided support to ISIS and his actions have influenced terrorists who engaged in bomb plots and other horrific attacks on innocent civilians," John Smith, director of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control, said in the statement, which used an acronym for the militant group. "This designation will help deter Faisal's global following and prevent U.S. persons from supporting him in any manner."

Faisal, who is currently facing extradition proceedings in Jamaica, was indicted in New York in August on charges of recruiting and providing support to IS members, U.S Department of Treasury said.

Faisal reportedly facilitated and helped connect IS recruits with those who could arrange for travel and entry into IS-controlled territory.

London connection

Faisal was jailed in 2003 in London for inciting racial hatred, and murder. He was deported to Jamaica in 2007, according to Reuters.

According to U.S officials, Faisal has "directly or indirectly influenced" several alleged terrorists to carry out terror attacks on the west, including the United States. He has allegedly influenced Abdul Razak Ali Artan, the Ohio State University attacker who carried out a terror attack on the university campus during the Thanksgiving weekend in 2016.

He is also accused of influencing Faisal Shahzad, the Times Square bomber in New York City in 2010 who failed to carry out his attack.

Faisal has allegedly maintained ties to Mohammed Chowdury, who planned and attempted to bomb the London Stock Exchange in 2010, and Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the underwear bomber who attempted to down an airliner over Detroit, Michigan, in 2009.

The sanctions put forth by the assets control office prohibit U.S. companies and Americans from doing business with Faisal, block his assets in the U.S., and place him as a high-profile target for law enforcement worldwide.