State Department Terrorist Designation of Omar Diaby

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
September 16, 2016

The Department of State has designated Omar Diaby as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) under Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, which imposes sanctions on foreign persons and groups 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. As a result of this designation, all property subject to U.S. jurisdiction in which Diaby has any interest is blocked and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in any transactions with Diaby.

Omar Diaby leads a group of French foreign terrorist fighters in Syria. The group of approximately 50 fighters has participated in terrorist operations alongside the Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) and Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) group, al-Nusrah Front. Although assumed killed in August 2015, Diaby, re-emerged in May 2016, claiming his death was a ploy to allow him to travel to Turkey for an operation. Diaby came to the attention of French intelligence due to his involvement with a French extremist group and his online propaganda video series. Diaby’s videos have been credited as the chief reason behind why so many French nationals have joined militant groups in Syria and Iraq.

The imposition of sanctions by the United States against terrorists is a powerful tool. Today’s action notifies the U.S. public and the international community that Omar Diaby is 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.

A list of U.S. designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations and SDGTs is available here: //