Press Releases

Treasury Sanctions Three ISIS Recruiters from Southeast Asia

Action Targets Radicals Engaged in Beheading Video and Follows UN Designation

Washington – The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) took action today by designating three senior Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) recruiters: Mohamad Rafi Udin (Udin), Mohammed Karim Yusop Faiz (Faiz), and Mohammad Reza Lahaman Kiram (Kiram).  Udin, Faiz, and Kiram have urged individuals in Southeast Asia to join ISIS and were featured in an official ISIS beheading video, where they executed captives held by ISIS.  

“Treasury is targeting ISIS recruiters who have engaged in a beheading video and other brutal acts as part of a propaganda campaign to attract radicals to join militant terrorist groups in Southeast Asia,” said Sigal Mandelker, Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence. “We are sanctioning these terrorists along with our UN and international partners as part of a coordinated effort to counter ISIS’s global networks that enable the group to recruit foreign fighters to conduct international terrorist attacks.”

Udin, Faiz, and Karim are being designated as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs) for acting for or on behalf of ISIS pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, which targets terrorists and those providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism.  As a result of today’s action, all property and interests in property of Udin, Faiz, and Karim subject to U.S. jurisdiction are blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them. Yesterday, the United Nations Security Council 1267 ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qa’ida Sanctions Committee also designated Udin, Faiz, and Kiram.

As a result of their UN listings, all UN member states are obligated to freeze the assets, deny access to the international financial system, and prohibit the travel of, Udin, Faiz, and Karim.


Mohamad Rafi Udin

As of November 2017, Udin was believed to be the most senior Malaysian ISIS leader in Syria.  Udin originally traveled to Syria in 2014 and appeared alongside Faiz and Kiram in an official ISIS propaganda video where he perpetrates a terrorist act on behalf of ISIS, namely the beheading of a prisoner held by ISIS.  In the video, Udin calls for individuals to pledge allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and called for individuals in the Philippines to join together under the command of now deceased Isnilon Hapilon (Hapilon).  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.  Udin has also urged ISIS sympathizers to conduct terrorist attacks.

Udin has been involved in militant activities since 1998.  Udin was arrested and detained from 2003 to 2006 for fighting on behalf of Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), a Southeast Asian terrorist organization.  JI was designated on October 23, 2002 pursuant to E.O. 13224. 


Mohammed Karim Yusop Faiz

In June 2016, Faiz, an Indonesian national, appeared in an ISIS propaganda video where, on behalf of ISIS, he took part in the execution of a prisoner held by ISIS and pledged allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as well as urged individuals in Southeast Asia to join ISIS’s network in the Philippines under the command of Hapilon.

In 2014, Faiz traveled to Syria to join ISIS.  Previously, Faiz was imprisoned in the Philippines for nine years on charges of illegal possession of explosives and weapons.

Mohammad Reza Lahaman Kiram

As of January 2017, Kiram, a Philippine national, was fighting for ISIS in Syria.  In June 2016, Kiram appeared alongside Faiz and Udin in an ISIS propaganda video, where on behalf of ISIS, the three took part in the beheading of three prisoners held by ISIS.

Kiram was a member of a Philippines-based militant group that pledged alliance to ISIS. Kiram was seen training the group’s recruits in 2014, before travelling to Syria with his wife and daughter in 2015.   Philippine police believe he was responsible for the Zamboanga, Philippines bus bombing in 2012.  

Identifying information on the individuals designated today.