28 February 2018

West Africa: U.S. Adds Several Islamic State Affiliates to Terror List

Photo: This Day
ISIS (file photo).

The U.S. State Department on Tuesday branded seven Islamic State groups from around the world and two of its leaders as terrorists in an effort to cut off any financial support they may have been getting from within the United States.

The top U.S. diplomatic agency blacklisted ISIS-West Africa, ISIS-Philippines and ISIS-Bangladesh, along with four other ISIS-affiliated groups — ISIS-Somalia, Jund al-Khilafah-Tunisia, ISIS-Egypt and the Maute Group. The State Department said it also has sanctioned two ISIS leaders, Mahad Moalim and Abu Musab al-Barnawi.

Nathan Sales, the State Department's counterterrorism coordinator, said in a statement that the designations "target key ISIS-affiliated groups and leaders outside its fallen caliphate in Iraq and Syria. Today’s actions are a critical step in degrading ISIS's global network and denying its affiliates the resources they need to plan and carry out terrorist attacks.”

The law under which the sanctions were imposed blocks the IS groups from conducting any business transactions linked to any properties they may have in the U.S. and prohibits Americans from doing business with them.

The State Department said the sanctions send a message globally that "these groups and individuals have committed or pose a significant risk of committing acts of terrorism. Terrorist designations expose and isolate entities and individuals, and deny them access to the U.S. financial system. Moreover, designations can assist the law enforcement activities of U.S. agencies and other governments."

It said the terrorist designations are part of the U.S. plan to defeat IS insurgents.

"This whole-of-government effort is destroying ISIS in its safe havens, denying its ability to recruit foreign terrorist fighters, stifling its financial resources, countering the false propaganda it disseminates over the internet and social media, and helping to stabilize liberated areas in Iraq and Syria so the displaced can return to their homes and begin to rebuild their lives," the State Department said.

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