Three Cyprus-based companies have been included in the latest round of sanctions imposed by the United States’ government, due to their links to Islamist military group al-Shabaab.

The companies, named as Haleel Finance Ltd, Haleel Holdings Ltd, and Haleel Ltd, are all based in Limassol, and are all subsidiaries of Dubai-based Haleel Commodities LLC.

The US Treasury Department described Haleel Commodities LLC as “a key financial facilitator for al-Shabaab, which relies on the leaders of the Haleel group, as well as its branches and subsidiaries in Somalia, Kenya, Uganda, and Cyprus to generate and launder funds.”

In addition, a man by the name of Farhan Hussein Hayder, who the US Treasury Department says “directs and manages [the] Haleel Group’s branches in Kenya, Uganda, Cyprus, and the UAE” was also included on the sanctions list.

Hayder is a Kenyan national and was born in 1986. The US Treasury Department said he “supports al-Shabaab by generating funds for the group” through the businesses listed.

Al-Shabaab is active in Somalia and Kenya and is actively involved in the ongoing Somali civil war. It has been allegiant to al-Qaeda since 2012.

It has been proscribed as a terrorist organisation in the US and the United Kingdom, among other countries.