Mounir Ben Dhaou Ben Brahim Ben Helal

Mounir Ben Dhaou Ben Brahim Ben Helal was a Tunisian member of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) who was sanction-designated by the United States,“Treasury Sanctions Major Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant Leaders, Financial Figures, Facilitators, and Supporters,” U.S. Department of the Treasury, September 29, 2015, https://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/jl0188.aspx. the United Nations,“Narrative Summaries of Reasons for Listing,” U.N. Security Council, February 29, 2016, https://www.un.org/sc/suborg/en/sanctions/1267/aq_sanctions_list/summaries/individual/mounir-ben-dhaou-ben-brahim-ben-helal. and the European Union“Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2016/307 of 3 March 2016,” EUR-Lex, March 3, 2016, http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?qid=1462456080638&uri=CELEX:32016R0307. for facilitating the flow of foreign fighters to the terror group.

According to the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Helal used “his experience in establishing and securing travel routes” to create networks in North Africa for AQIM, as well as to aid foreign fighters in traveling to Syria to join ISIS. The United States also accused Helal of supplying arms to AQIM.“Treasury Sanctions Major Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant Leaders, Financial Figures, Facilitators, and Supporters,” U.S. Department of the Treasury, September 29, 2015, https://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/jl0188.aspx.

Agence France-Presse (AFP) identified Helal as “Abu Mariam,” a senior ISIS leader killed in a November 2015 U.S. airstrike in Iraq. The strike targeted and killed a senior ISIS finance chief, known as “Abu Saleh.” According to AFP, Abu Mariam was “an enforcer and senior leader in the IS group’s extortion networks.” The news agency reported that Abu Mariam “appears on the State Department’s terrorist list as Mounir Ben Dhaou Ben Brahim Ben Helal, a 32-year-old Tunisian.”Agence France-Press, “IS finance chief killed in Iraq air strike: US,” Yahoo News, December 11, 2015, https://www.yahoo.com/news/finance-chief-confirmed-killed-air-strike-us-180340733.html?ref=gs. Despite Helal’s reported death, the United Nations listed him as an associate of al-Qaeda on February 29, 2016.“Narrative Summaries of Reasons for Listing,” U.N. Security Council, February 29, 2016, https://www.un.org/sc/suborg/en/sanctions/1267/aq_sanctions_list/summaries/individual/mounir-ben-dhaou-ben-brahim-ben-helal. On the same day, the European Union added Helal to its list of Natural persons.“Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2016/307 of 3 March 2016,” EUR-Lex, March 3, 2016, http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?qid=1462456080638&uri=CELEX:32016R0307.

Also Known As

Extremist entity
AQIM
Type(s) of Organization:
Insurgent, non-state actor, religious, terrorist, transnational, violent
Ideologies and Affiliations:
Al-Qaeda affiliated group, Islamist, jihadist, Qutbist, Salafist, Sunni, takfiri
Position(s):
Foreign-fighter facilitator

Al-Qaeda’s North African branch, AQIM, operates in Algeria, Mali, Niger, Libya, Mauritania, and Tunisia. The group has executed numerous violent attacks in North and West Africa. The group is also known for its extensive history of kidnapping and extortion. 

Extremist entity
ISIS
Type(s) of Organization:
Insurgent, territory-controlling, religious, terrorist, violent
Ideologies and Affiliations:
Islamist, jihadist, pan-Islamist, Salafist, takfiri
Position(s):
Foreign-fighter facilitator, financial facilitator

Al-Qaeda’s North African branch, AQIM, operates in Algeria, Mali, Niger, Libya, Mauritania, and Tunisia. The group has executed numerous violent attacks in North and West Africa. The group is also known for its extensive history of kidnapping and extortion. 

  • Designations

United States

  • September 29, 2015

    The U.S. Treasury designated “Mounir Ben Dhaou Ben Brahim Ben Helal” as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13224.“Treasury Sanctions Major Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant Leaders, Financial Figures, Facilitators, and Supporters,” U.S. Department of the Treasury, September 29, 2015, https://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/jl0188.aspx.

United Nations

European Union

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Daily Dose

Extremists: Their Words. Their Actions.

Fact:

On June 24, 2017, Tehrik-i Taliban Pakistan (TTP) launched back-to-back explosions at a market in Kurram Agency of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) in northwest Pakistan. The attack killed 67 people who were shopping in preparation for a religious holiday and wounded 200 others. 

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