On Thursday February 28, 2008 the United States Department of the Treasury imposed sanctions against four individuals in Syria charged with “facilitating and controlling the flow of money, weapons, terrorists, and other resources through Syria to al Qaida in Iraq (AQI), including to AQI commanders.” This action freezes any assets the four individuals have in the United States and outlaws U.S. businesses from dealing with them. It also sheds light on the important role of Syrian facilitators in fueling the insurgency in Iraq.
The group is led by Badran Turki Hishan al-Mazidih, AKA Abu Ghadiyah, who is an Iraqi born (Mosul) Syrian. Abu Ghadiyah worked with Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in 2004 as AQI’s Syrian commander for logistics. In 2006 he continued working under the orders of Abu Ayyub al-Masri as the head of AQI’s facilitation network in Syria. Ghadiyah obtains false passports for foreign terrorists, provides passports, weapons, guides, safe houses, and allowances to foreign terrorists in Syria and those preparing to cross the border into Iraq. He is also in charge of subordinate AQI facilitators in Syria. The other three designated individuals are Ghadiyah’s brother and two cousins.
The United States Department of the Treasury news release included the following information:
The U.S. Department of the Treasury today designated four individuals facilitating and controlling the flow of money, weapons, terrorists, and other resources through Syria to al Qaida in Iraq (AQI), including to AQI commanders.
"Since the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime, Syria has become a transit station for al Qaida foreign terrorists on their way to Iraq," said Stuart Levey, Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence. "Abu Ghadiyah and his network go to great lengths to facilitate the flow through Syria of money, weapons, and terrorists intent on killing U.S. and Coalition forces and innocent Iraqis."
Today's action was taken pursuant to Executive Order 13224, which targets terrorists and those providing financial or material support to terrorism. Any assets these designees have under U.S. jurisdiction will be frozen, and U.S. persons are prohibited from engaging in business or transactions with the designees.
Badran Turki Hishan al-Mazidih, AKA Abu Ghadiyah
DOB: 1977, alt. 1078 or 1979
POB: Mosul, Iraq
Residence: Zabadani, Syria
Syria-based Badran Turki Hishan Al Mazidih, also known as Abu Ghadiyah, runs the AQI facilitation network, which controls the flow of money, weapons, terrorists, and other resources through Syria into Iraq. Former AQI leader Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi appointed Badran as AQI's Syrian commander for logistics in 2004. After Zarqawi's death, Badran began working for the new AQI leader, Abu Ayyub Al-Masri. As of late-September 2006, Badran took orders directly from Masri, or through a deputy.Badran obtained false passports for foreign terrorists, provided passports, weapons, guides, safe houses, and allowances to foreign terrorists in Syria and those preparing to cross the border into Iraq. Badran received several hundred thousand dollars from his cousin Saddah -- also designated today -- and used these funds to support anti-U.S. military elements and the travel of AQI foreign fighters. Badran has also been using AQI funds for his personal use.
As of the spring of 2007, Badran facilitated the movement of AQI operatives into Iraq via the Syrian border. Badran also directed another Syria-based AQI facilitator to provide safe haven and supplies to foreign fighters. This AQI facilitator, working directly for Badran, facilitated the movement of foreign fighters primarily from Gulf countries, through Syria into Iraq.
Ghazy Fezza Hishan al-Mazidih, AKA Abu Faysal
DOB: 1974 or 1975
Residence: Zabadani, Syria
Ghazy Fezza Hishan Al Mazidih is Badran's cousin and a member of his AQI facilitation network. As of March 2006, Ghazy was Badran's "right-hand man." As second-in command, Ghazy worked directly with Badran, managed network operations, and acted as the commander for Badran's AQI network when Badran traveled. As of late-September 2006, Ghazy and Badran were planning to facilitate an AQI attack against Coalition forces and Iraqi police in Western Iraq. Ghazy and Badran planned to use rockets to attack multiple Coalition forces outposts and Iraqi police stations, in an attempt to facilitate an AQI takeover in Western Iraq.
Akram Turki Hishan al-Mazidih, AKA Abu Jarrah, Abu Akram
DOB: 1974 or 1975, alt. 1979
Residence: Zabadani, Syria
Akram Turki Hishan Al Mazidih is Badran's brother and a member of his AQI facilitation network. As of early 2006, AQI leaders Akram and Badran directed AQI operations near Al Qa'im, Iraq. In late-November 2006, Akram smuggled weapons from Syria for use in Iraq. As of late-September 2005, Akram acted on behalf of AQI by ordering the execution of AQI's enemies. Akram also ordered the execution of all persons found to be working with the Iraqi Government or U.S. Forces, and at least one of Akram's orders resulted in the execution of two Iraqis in Al Qa'im, Iraq.
Saddah Jaylut al-Marsumi
DOB: 1955 or 1956
Residence: Al Shajlah Village, Syria, alt. As Susah Village, Syria or Baghuz, Syria
As of the spring of 2006, Saddah Jaylut Al-Marsumi, Badran's cousin, was an AQI financier who worked with Badran and other AQI facilitators to transport several unidentified Syrian suicide bombers into Iraq on behalf of AQI. Saddah also facilitated the financing and smuggling of AQI foreign fighters from Syria into Iraq. As of early 2006, Saddah transferred several hundred thousand dollars to a hawala in Iraq, where Badran received the funds and used them to support anti-U.S. military elements and the travel of AQI foreign fighters.