The largest Somali money wiring company, Al-Barakat, whose Minnesota offices were shut down following September 11 terrorist attacks, announced Monday that its last representatives have been taken off the U.S. and U.N. terrorism list.
But the company’s operations- in Minnesota and elsewhere- remain closed and almost $9 million of its operating money is frozen. Being the largest employer in Somalia, the company’s closure had a domino effect in the country’s already broken economy.
The chairman of the company, Ahmed Nur Ali Jimale, told the BBC that his agents worldwide are now officially removed from the terrorism list. The last one to be vindicated, Jimale said, is a senior representative in Sweden. None of the company’s Minnesota employees were added to the terrorism list.
The company had operated in more than 40 countries around the world and wired an estimated $140 million a year, most of it sent by Minnesota immigrants.
Ongoing appeals in the U.S. to release the frozen funds have not yielded any results. Until the company is fully removed from the blacklist, which experts think is not in sight, Minnesota offices are likely to remain shut.
In its report, the 911 commission didn’t link the company to any of the money wired to the 9/11 hijackers as previously suspected. Most of the funds used for the attacks were sent through modern banking systems, according to the report.
This news comes in light of the recent developments in Minnesota where bank accounts belonging to money wiring companies are either closed or on the brink of being closed due to stiff federal regulations. Operators of money wiring companies have been in a marathon of meetings over the past several weeks in the hopes of breaking the banking blockade.