The Department of State has designated Muhammad al-Ghazali, Abukar Ali Adan, and Wanas al-Faqih as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs) under Section 1(b) of Executive Order (E.O.) 13224. These designations impose strict sanctions on foreign persons determined to have committed, or pose a significant risk of committing, acts of terrorism that threaten the security of U.S. nationals or the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the United States. Among the consequences of these designations, all of their property and interests in property subject to U.S. jurisdiction are blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in any transactions with them.
As outlined further below, these three individuals are associated with al-Qa’ida affiliates al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), al-Shabaab, and al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), all of which have been designated by the United States as Foreign Terrorist Organizations pursuant to section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act and as SDGT entities under E.O. 13224. Al-Ghazali is a senior member of AQAP who is involved in internal security and training of the group’s operatives. Abukar Ali Adan is deputy leader of al-Shabaab. Wanas al-Faqih is an AQIM associate who planned the March 18, 2015 Bardo Museum attack in Tunis, Tunisia that killed at least 20 people.
Today’s action notifies the U.S. public and the international community that Muhammad al-Ghazali, Wanas al-Faqih, and Abukar Ali Adan have committed acts of terrorism. Terrorism designations expose and isolate organizations 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.