A service dog in California named “Dash” set off one bank’s terror alert when it confused the dog with the Islamic terrorist group Daesh, more commonly known as the Islamic State.
Dash’s owner Bruce Francis set up an online payment to the person that walks his dog. The Times of Israel reported that Francis has multiple sclerosis, and Dash is his service dog. When Francis wrote “Dash” in the memo line for the dog walker payment, Chase Bank confused Dash with Daesh, the Arabic term that has been used for the Islamic terrorist group ISIS. As a result, the payment was cancelled.
Francis only found out that the payment failed to go through when his dog walker alerted him that he had not received payment for dog walking services. Once Francis checked his account online he saw a notification about the payment that referred him to the OFAC (Office of Foreign Assets Control), part of the U.S. Treasury Department.
OFAC returned a call from Francis informing him that the reason for the flag was that the bank confused Dash with Daesh. The bank had flagged the payment to the government agency.
Francis made light of the confusion, telling local news station KTVU the bank stopped the “world’s stupidest terrorist.”
KTVU got in touch with Chase regarding this story, telling the news outlet that if they see a name on the OFAC list they are required to review the payment. The bank said that the payment was “flagged, reviewed and eventually released.”
Dash’s walker was eventually paid and Francis indicated that he was willing to be inconvenienced a bit if it resulted stopping terrorists and their funding.
OFAC lists its purpose on the U.S. Treasury Department website, “The Office of Foreign Assets Control administers and enforces economic sanctions programs primarily against countries and groups of individuals, such as terrorists and narcotics traffickers. The sanctions can be either comprehensive or selective, using the blocking of assets and trade restrictions to accomplish foreign policy and national security goals.”
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