Sayf Abdulrab Salem al-Hayashi

Sayf Abdulrah Salem al-Hayashi is a weapons dealer for al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). He has also coordinated and financed AQAP operations and provided financial support to senior members of the group. Additionally, he has previously worked on behalf of ISIS’s affiliate in Yemen.“Treasury and Terrorist Financing Targeting Certain Partners Issue First Joint Sanctions Against Key Terrorists and Supporters,” U.S. Department of the Treasury, October 25, 2017, https://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/sm0187.aspx. He was designated as a terrorist by the United States and six Gulf countries in October 2017.Thomas Joscelyn, “US and Gulf nations sanction 8 jihadists in Yemen,” Long War Journal, October 25, 2017, https://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2017/10/us-and-gulf-nations-sanction-8-jihadists-in-yemen.php.

Hayashi was born in January 1978 and is a Yemeni citizen. According to the U.S. Department of the Treasury, he presently resides in the city of Azzan in Yemen’s Abyan Governorate.“Counter Terrorism Designations,” U.S. Department of the Treasury, October 25, 2017, https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/OFAC-Enforcement/Pages/20171025.aspx.

In 1994, Hayashi moved from Yemen’s al-Bayda Governorate to the city of Azzan in Abyan Governorate.“Counter Terrorism Designations,” U.S. Department of the Treasury, October 25, 2017, https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/OFAC-Enforcement/Pages/20171025.aspx; “Treasury and Terrorist Financing Targeting Certain Partners Issue First Joint Sanctions Against Key Terrorists and Supporters,” U.S. Department of the Treasury, October 25, 2017, https://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/sm0187.aspx. He remained in Azzan for the next ten years, where he worked as a weapons dealer.“Treasury and Terrorist Financing Targeting Certain Partners Issue First Joint Sanctions Against Key Terrorists and Supporters,” U.S. Department of the Treasury, October 25, 2017, https://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/sm0187.aspx. In 2005, he and a business partner opened a money exchange office next to a store where they sold weapons. They also began dealing drugs and other illicit items and expanded their contraband business to other areas of Yemen, including the cities of Mukalla and Sanaa.“Treasury and Terrorist Financing Targeting Certain Partners Issue First Joint Sanctions Against Key Terrorists and Supporters,” U.S. Department of the Treasury, October 25, 2017, https://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/sm0187.aspx.

In mid-2015, Hayashi facilitated a weapons deal for ISIS’s Yemeni affiliate, which was established in late 2014.“Treasury and Terrorist Financing Targeting Certain Partners Issue First Joint Sanctions Against Key Terrorists and Supporters,” U.S. Department of the Treasury, October 25, 2017, https://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/sm0187.aspx.

As of 2016, Hayashi served as a weapons dealer for AQAP, coordinating and financing shipments of weapons for the group’s leaders. He also reportedly traveled across Yemen to meet with senior AQAP leaders and manage their finances. Hayashi also helped finance the group’s operations in the country himself.“Treasury and Terrorist Financing Targeting Certain Partners Issue First Joint Sanctions Against Key Terrorists and Supporters,” U.S. Department of the Treasury, October 25, 2017, https://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/sm0187.aspx.

On October 25, 2017, the U.S. Department of the Treasury named Hayashi a Specially Designated Global Terrorist for providing support or services to AQAP.“Treasury and Terrorist Financing Targeting Certain Partners Issue First Joint Sanctions Against Key Terrorists and Supporters,” U.S. Department of the Treasury, October 25, 2017, https://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/sm0187.aspx. Several Gulf countries also belonging to the Terrorist Financing Targeting Center, a coalition of nations established in May 2017, also agreed to impose similar sanctions against Hayashi on the same date. These countries included Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates.Thomas Joscelyn, “US and Gulf nations sanction 8 jihadists in Yemen,” Long War Journal, October 25, 2017, https://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2017/10/us-and-gulf-nations-sanction-8-jihadists-in-yemen.php.

In addition to his illicit business enterprises, Hayashi also owns the branches of the Al Khayr Supermarket in Yemen located in the cities of Azzan and Fuwwah. Due to its affiliation with Hayashi, the Al Khayr Supermarket was designated as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist entity on October 25, 2017, by all of the same countries that designated Hayashi as a terrorist.“Treasury and Terrorist Financing Targeting Certain Partners Issue First Joint Sanctions Against Key Terrorists and Supporters,” U.S. Department of the Treasury, October 25, 2017, https://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/sm0187.aspx.

Also Known As

Extremist entity
Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)
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):
AQAP weapons dealer

AQAP is the union of al-Qaeda’s affiliated branches in Saudi Arabia and Yemen. AQAP has claimed responsibility for terror attacks and plots worldwide, including the January 2015 Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris.

Extremist entity
ISIS
Type(s) of Organization:
religious, terrorist
Ideologies and Affiliations:
jihadist, Qutbist, Salafist
Position(s):
financier

AQAP is the union of al-Qaeda’s affiliated branches in Saudi Arabia and Yemen. AQAP has claimed responsibility for terror attacks and plots worldwide, including the January 2015 Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris.

Type(s) of Organization:
religious, terrorist
Ideologies and Affiliations:
jihadist, Qutbist, Salafist
Position(s):
facilitator

AQAP is the union of al-Qaeda’s affiliated branches in Saudi Arabia and Yemen. AQAP has claimed responsibility for terror attacks and plots worldwide, including the January 2015 Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris.

  • Designations

United States

Bahrain

Kuwait

Oman

Saudi Arabia

Qatar

United Arab Emirates

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