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BREAKING NEWS

New U.S. sanctions target Hamas, Islamic State, other groups

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States on Tuesday announced sanctions on a “wide range of terrorists and their supporters,” including the Palestinian group Hamas and Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, on the eve of the 18th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.

The targets include 15 leaders, individuals and entities affiliated with groups such as Hamas, al Qaeda, Islamic State and Iran’s IRGC, the U.S. Treasury Department said in a statement.

The sanctions were applied using new tools from an executive order recently updated by President Donald Trump.

“Since the horrific attacks of 9/11, the U.S. government has refocused its counterterrorism efforts to constantly adapt to emerging threats,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in the statement.

“President Trump’s modernized counterterrorism Executive Order enhances the authorities we use to target the finances of terror groups and their leaders to ensure they are as robust as possible,” Mnuchin said.

Sanctioned leaders include Turkey-based Zaher Jabarin, the head of Hamas’s financial office; and Muhammad Sa’id Izadi, the chief of the IRGC-Quds Force’s Palestinian office in Lebanon.

The targets also included a Brazil-based al Qaeda member, a Maldivian national who recruits for the Islamic State branch active in Afghanistan, and an operative of the Islamic State affiliate in the Philippines, the statement said.

Several exchange houses, and a jewellery company in southern Turkey, were also designated by the Treasury.

The sanctions mean any property the targets may have in the United States would be blocked and U.S. persons would generally be prohibited from having business dealings with them.

(Reporting by Tim Ahmann; Writing by Mohammad Zargham; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Richard Chang)

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