Abuja — THE United States (US) has expanded sanctions on terror groups and leaders as it marked the death of about 3 000 people in attacks that devastated the country 18 years ago.
President Donald Trump has signed an executive order to that effect ahead of the commemorations on Wednesday (today).
Sanctions were expanded or renewed against terror sects and individuals based in Iran, Nigeria, Palestine, Pakistan and Philippines.
The Department of State believes the executive order is the most significant update of terrorism designation authorities since the aftermath of the 9/11 (September 11) attacks in 2001.
As a consequence of the attacks, the US has been in a state of national emergency.
It is anticipated the order that Trump signed would enhance the US' ability to target and deprive terrorists and their enablers of financial, material and logistical support worldwide.
The department stated the expansion of counter-terrorism authorities enabled the country to more effectively sanction leaders of terrorist organisations, as well as those who participated in their training.
"This order also puts foreign financial institutions on notice that they risk sanctions if they knowingly conduct or facilitate any significant transactions on behalf of designated terrorists," according to the Department of State.
Among the sects targeted by the order include the Islamic State of West Africa, commonly known as Boko Haram.
The Nigeria-based Islamist group is among the most lethal terror organisations globally.