The State Department named seven ISIS-affiliated groups as Foreign Terrorist Organizations and two ISIS-affiliated leaders as Specially Designated Global Terrorists. The groups hail from West Africa, the Philippines, Bangladesh, Somalia and Egypt.The individuals are two followers of ISIS’ self-styled “caliph” Abu Bakr-al-Baghdadi in Africa: Mahad Moalim, the deputy leader of the ISIS-affiliate in Somalia, and Abu Musab al-Barnawi, an ISIS leader in West Africa.
“These designations target key ISIS-affiliated groups and leaders outside its fallen caliphate in Iraq and Syria,” said a representative from the State Department. “Today’s actions are a critical step in degrading ISIS’s global network and denying its affiliates the resources they need to plan and carry out terrorist attacks.”
Among other consequences of these designation are that all property and interests in property of the designees are blocked. U.S. citizens are also prohibited from engaging in any transactions with them.
The State Department, along with INTERPOL and the International Institute for Justice and the Rule of Law, is holding an international conference on “Mobilizing Law Enforcement Efforts to Defeat ISIS” in Washington, D.C. February 27-28. 2018. Attending are senior-level U.S. justice and law enforcement officials along with their counterparts from close to 90 countries and organizations.The purpose of the conference is to address the international threat posed by the defeat of the “caliphate” in Iraq and Syria. State Department officials say the conference “will build on our existing strategy and lay the foundation for the next phase in our effort as we work to confront the evolving ISIS threat.”
In addition to fighting ISIS, the U.S. is also focusing its efforts to counter the threats posed by Iran. U.S. President Donald Trump recently called the leaders of the Gulf States, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan of the United Arab Emirates, to thank them for suggesting ways that the Gulf States “can better counter Iranian destabilizing activities and defeat terrorists and extremists.”Both crown princes are planning visits to the U.S. this spring for meetings with Trump.
Meanwhile, ISIS is urging its followers to carry out lone wolf vehicular attacks in the West in its latest propaganda poster released through its media outlets. “Hit them with a truck; kill them all” screams the poster. The words are set in black and red on top of an image of a large and ominous truck splattered with blood.