Washington – The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) took action today targeting Myrna Mabanza (Mabanza), a Philippines-based facilitator who provided support to ISIS-Philippines (ISIS-P). Mabanza was named as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13224 for assisting in, sponsoring, or providing financial, material, or technological support for, or financial or other services to or in support of, ISIS-P. As a result of today’s designation, all property and interests in property of Mabanza subject to U.S. jurisdiction are blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with her.
“Mabanza has facilitated substantial financial activity on behalf of senior ISIS-Philippines leadership and has been an intermediary between extremist groups in Southeast Asia that are recruiting, training, and deploying radical terrorists,” said Sigal Mandelker, Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence. “The United States continues to map and disrupt ISIS financing networks in Southeast Asia and is resolved to cut their access to the international financial system.”
On February 28, 2018, the U.S. Department of State designated ISIS-P as a Foreign Terrorist Organization pursuant to Section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as amended, and as an SDGT pursuant to E.O. 13224.
In January 2016, Mabanza was involved in the transfer of up to $107,000 with then-ISIS-P leader Isnilon Hapilon (Hapilon); Hapilon also instructed Mabanza to deliver money to an ISIS-P member. OFAC designated Hapilon on November 30, 2005 pursuant to E.O. 13224 for his role in the Abu Sayyaf Group, which itself was listed in the Annex to E.O. 13224.
In February 2016, Mabanza served as an intermediary between Hapilon and ISIS elements in Syria. In March 2016, Mabanza coordinated another transfer of funds with Hapilon. Also in March 2016, a senior ISIS official in Syria planned to send financial support to ISIS-P through Mabanza.
In April 2016, Mabanza helped facilitate the travel of a Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD) representative who traveled from Indonesia to the Philippines. Mabanza accompanied the JAD representative to Basilan, Philippines to meet Hapilon. The JAD representative traveled to the Philippines to purchase arms for ISIS-aligned forces in Indonesia and to set up training courses for pro-ISIS recruits from Indonesia with ISIS-P. After Hapilon agreed to the plan, the recruits from Indonesia who eventually attended the terrorist training camps were trained in firearm use and basic bomb-making.
On January 10, 2017, the U.S. Department of State designated JAD as an SDGT pursuant to E.O. 13224. JAD is a terrorist group based in Indonesia that was formed in 2015 and is composed of almost two dozen Indonesian extremist groups that had pledged allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi.