WASHINGTON: The US Treasury identified a Libyan electronics and explosives specialist on Wednesday as a top bomb maker for al Qaeda in Pakistan and singled him out for anti-terror sanctions.
The Treasury said Abd al-Hamid al-Masli, also known as Hamza al-Darnawi, runs an al Qaeda workshop in Pakistan that provides improvised explosive devices and components for al Qaeda to be used in Afghanistan.
The 37-year-old Libyan-born Masli works in Waziristan on Pakistan’s northwest border, where he also has instructed al Qaeda recruits on making detonators.
“As of 2009, was personally in charge of IED component construction at the (al Qaeda) electronics workshop” and in 2011 he was a member of the group’s military committee, the Treasury said in a statement.
“Today’s action builds upon the Treasury Department’s strategy to target and disrupt IED production and facilitation networks in both Afghanistan and Pakistan, where more than 30,000 Pakistanis have been killed by IED attacks over the past decade,” it said.
The designation of Masli as a bomb maker for al Qaeda aims at cutting his and the group’s access to financial and trade networks by banning American entities and individuals from undertaking any transactions with him.
“The US is determined to disrupt and dismantle these IED networks through all means available, including targeted sanctions,” said Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David Cohen.