US sanctions foreign fighter facilitators

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Treasury Department on Wednesday imposed sanctions on eight people it says have helped finance or facilitate the movement of foreign fighters joining the Islamic State and the Nusra Front, two Syrian extremist groups that have been the subject of recent American military strikes.

The individuals were designated "global terrorists," an action that cuts them off from the U.S. banking system and freezes any assets that may have in the U.S.

The department also sanctioned three individuals and a charity the U.S. says supported a southeast Asian al-Qaida affiliate, Jemaah Islamiya, that is accused of bombing a Bali nightclub in 2002, killing more than 200.

The two Islamic State militants named, Tarkhan Batirashvili and Tariq al-Harzi, are both senior figures in the organization based in Syria, the Treasury Department said in a statement.

The statement identifies Al-Harzi as the Islamic State group's "Amir of suicide bombers," saying he recruited foreign fighters for suicide attacks in Iraq and Syria.

Among the Nusra front financiers named, three are based in friendly countries, according to the Treasury statement: Turkey, Jordan and Kuwait. The Nusra front, the al-Qaida affiliate that is fighting Syrian President Bashar Assad, is working in partnership with the Khorasan Group, the al-Qaida cell that was bombed by the U.S. Monday, American officials say.

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