Terrorist Designation of Emrah Erdogan

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
December 9, 2015


The Department of State has designated Emrah Erdogan a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) under section 1(b) of Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, which imposes sanctions on foreign persons that have committed, or pose a serious 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. As a result of this designation, all property subject to U.S. jurisdiction in which Erdogan has any interest is blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in any transactions with Erdogan.

Erdogan has also been added to the UN 1267/1989 al-Qaida Sanctions List, requiring all member states to implement an assets freeze, a travel ban, and an arms embargo against Erdogan.

As a member of al-Qa’ida and al-Shabaab, Erdogan – a German national born in Turkey – recruited foreign terrorist fighters, participated in fighting, and raised funds for both groups. He was known to have trained with al-Shabaab and to have carried out attacks in Kenya and Uganda before being apprehended in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; and extradited to Germany. Emrah Erdogan was sentenced to and is currently serving seven years in prison in Germany for joining militant groups in Pakistan and Somalia and for phoning in a false terror threat of attacks in Pakistan and Germany in November 2010.

The imposition of sanctions by the United States against terrorists is an important element of our counterterrorism efforts. Today’s action notifies the U.S. public and the international community that Emrah Erdogan has been actively engaged in terrorism. Designations of terrorist individuals and groups expose and isolate organizations and individuals, and result in denial of access to the U.S. financial system. Moreover, designations can assist or complement the law enforcement actions of other U.S. agencies and other governments.