State Department Terrorist Designations

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
March 10, 2016

The Department of State has designated Abdullah Nowbahar and Abdul Saboor as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs) 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 these designations, all property subject to U.S. jurisdiction in which Abdullah Nowbahar and Abdul Saboor have any interest is blocked and U.S. persons are prohibited from engaging in any transactions with Nowbahar and Saboor.

On February 26, 2015 the U.S. Department of State’s Rewards for Justice (RFJ) Program announced rewards for information on both Nowbahar and Saboor. The Secretary of State authorized a reward of up to $3 million for information on Saboor and up to $2 million on Nowbahar.

Abdullah Nowbahar and Abdul Saboor are explosive experts for Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin (HIG). Both Nowbahar and Saboor participated in the September 18, 2012 attack on a bus carrying foreign employees of Kabul International Airport that killed 12 people. Saboor is also responsible for a May 2013 suicide attack in Kabul that destroyed a U.S. armored vehicle, killing two soldiers and four U.S. civilian contractors; eight Afghans – including two children – were also killed and another 37 were wounded.

The imposition of sanctions by the United States against terrorists is a powerful tool. Today’s actions put the U.S. public and the international community on notice that Abdullah Nowbahar and Abdul Saboor are 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.