State Department Terrorist Designations
The Department of State has announced al-Qa’ida in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) as a Foreign Terrorist Organization under Section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act and as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) under section 1(b) of Executive Order (E.O.) 13224. The Department of State also designated AQIS leader Asim Umar under section 1(b) of Executive Order (E.O.) 13224. The consequences of this designation include a prohibition against U.S. persons engaging in transactions with AQIS and Umar and the freezing of all of their property and interests in the United States, or which come within the United States or the possession or control of U.S. persons. In addition, the consequences of AQIS’ FTO designation include a prohibition against knowingly providing, or attempting or conspiring to provide, material support or resources to the organization.
Al-Qa’ida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri announced the formation of AQIS in a video address in September 2014. The group is led by Asim Umar, a former member of U.S. designated Foreign Terrorist Organization Harakat ul-Mujahidin. AQIS claimed responsibility for the September 6, 2014 attack on a naval dockyard in Karachi, in which militants attempted to hijack a Pakistani Navy frigate. AQIS has also claimed responsibility for the murders of activists and writers in Bangladesh, including that of U.S. citizen Avijit Roy, U.S. Embassy local employee Xulhaz Mannan, and of Bangladeshi nationals Oyasiqur Rahman Babu, Ahmed Rajib Haideer, and A.K.M. Shafiul Islam.
Today’s action notifies the U.S. public and the international community that AQIS and Umar 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.