10 January 2014

Tunisia: U.S. Department of State Designates Ansar Al-Shari'a As Foreign Terrorist Organisation - U.S. Embassy

Tunis — The US Department of State announced, on Friday, "the designations of Ansar al-Shari'a in Tunisia, along with two separate groups in Libya, as a Foreign Terrorist Organisation."

A statement from the US Embassy in Tunis said the Department of State has also "designated Seifallah Ben Hassine, the leader of Ansar al-Shari'a commonly known as "Abou Iyadh," as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist."

These designations reflect the US resolve to degrade the ability of these organisations and individuals to commit violent acts by cutting off their flow of finances and support, the statement indicated.

"Because Tunisia and the United States face a common enemy in terrorism, our countries continue to co-operate to confront and defeat the threat of terrorism," the statement further reads.

In this respect, the Department of State pointed up that the United States has bolstered security assistance to help the Tunisian government in its efforts to address terrorism, which "directly affects development, stability, and economic growth in Tunisia."

In August 2013, the Tunisian government declared Ansar al-Shari'a to be a terrorist organisation, and implicated it in attacks against Tunisian security forces and assassinations of Tunisian political figures, the statement reminds.

Ansar al-Shari'a in Tunisia was also involved in the September 14, 2012 attack against the U.S. Embassy and American School in Tunis.

In this connection, the Department of State continues to urge the Tunisian government to bring to justice the perpetrators of the September 14, 2012 attack.

"The U.S. was not involved in the alleged arrest of Seifallah Ben Hassine (Abou Iyadh) in Libya," the State Department also affirmed in the statement.

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