Blacklisted Yemen firm denies helping Al Qaeda
Aden // A Yemeni money exchange firm on Wednesday denied being involved in funnelling money to Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, a day after Washington slapped it with financial sanctions.
Al Omgy and Brothers Money Exchange issued a statement dismissing the accusations as “false” and mere “rumours”.
The US Treasury said the Al Qaeda franchise had used the firm to make and receive payments throughout Yemen.
It said the company had also recently pledged to provide the extremists with a 10 per cent commission on all of its transactions.
The US imposed sanctions on the company’s two owners, Said Salih Abd-Rabbuh Al Omgy and Muhammed Salih Abd-Rabbuh Al Omgy, an alleged Al Qaeda member.
Treasury said with the latest actions it had frozen any of the Yemeni company’s US assets and blocked any transactions with it.
The UAE’s central bank also recently took steps to freeze the company out of the UAE financial system, the Treasury said.
In the statement, Said Al Omgy urged the Yemeni government to demand a clarification over the measures taken against the company.
The sanctions are part of Treasury efforts to cut off financing to the group and degrade the group’s “capabilities to execute violent attacks,” said senior Treasury official Adam J Szubin.
Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula was behind a number of attacks on US and Saudi Arabian targets, including in 2009 when a passenger aboard a US-bound flight tried to set off a bomb sewed into his underwear.
The group has also carried out many bombings and assassinations in southern Yemen as it takes advantage of the chaos caused by the civil war.
The US State Department designated Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula as a foreign terrorist organisation in 2010.