The US Department of State on Wednesday designated two affiliates of ISIS operating in Mozambique and the DR Congo as Foreign Terrorist Organisations in a move meant to cut off supplies to the groups and restrict their leaders.
In a statement, the Department said the ISIS-Mozambique and ISIS-DRC are Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs) and their leaders, Abu Yasir Hassan and Seka Musa Baluku, are terror merchants.
As a result of these designations, all their property and interests that are subject to US jurisdiction have been frozen, and Americans are prohibited from engaging in any transactions with them.
Foreign financial institutions that knowingly conduct or facilitate any significant transaction on behalf of these groups or individuals could be subject to US sanctions. Additionally, it is a crime to knowingly provide material support or resources to ISIS-DRC or ISIS-Mozambique, or to attempt or conspire to do so.
ISIS-Mozambique, also known as Ansar al-Sunna and locally as al-Shabaab (but with no known affiliation to the Somali militant group by the same name), among other names, reportedly pledged allegiance to ISIS as early as April 2018, and was acknowledged by ISIS-Core as an affiliate in August 2019.
Since October 2017, ISIS-Mozambique, led by Abu Yasir Hassan, has been linked to the killing of more than 1,300 civilians.