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U.S. Designates Ahmad Hasan Yusuf and Alsayed Murtadha Majeed Ramadhan Alawi as Terrorists

Saturday, March 25, 2017 11:31
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(Before It's News)

On March 17, the U.S. Department of State designated Ahmad Hasan Yusuf and Alsayed Murtadha Majeed Ramadhan Alawi as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGT) under Executive Order 13224, which imposes sanctions on foreign persons who have committed, or pose a serious risk of committing, acts of terrorism that threaten the security of the U.S., its citizens, economy, or foreign policy.

Once a person has this designation, U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions or dealings with Yusuf or Alawi, and all of Yusuf’s and Alawi’s property and interests in property subject to the United States jurisdiction is frozen.

These actions were prompted by a recent increase in militant attacks in Bahrain, where Iran has provided weapons, funding, and training to militants.

“This marks yet another step in our continued effort to aggressively target Iran’s destabilizing and terrorism-related activities in the region. We will continue to stand with Bahrain in addressing these threats, even as we encourage the government to clearly differentiate its response to violent militia groups from its engagement with peaceful political opposition,” said the State Department in a statement announcing the designations.

Both men are affliated with the al-Ashtar Brigades (AAB), which receives funding and support from the Iranian government that also has the designation of a state-sponsor of terrorism. Yusuf is an Iran-based senior member of the group. The AAB has claimed responsibility for numerous terrorist attacks, which have mainly targeted Bahrain’s police and key security targets.

In March 2014, AAB conducted a bomb attack that killed two local police officers and an officer from the United Arab Emirates. AAB targets the security services of Gulf countries, such as Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. Elements of the predominantly Shiite opposition movement in Bahrain have adopted increasingly radical tactics, since the onset of protests in 2011. The AAB has the goal of bringing down the regime of Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa and the group claims to act in the name of Allah.

The U.S. has used designations of terrorist individuals and groups expose and isolate organizations and individuals, and result in denial of access to the U.S. financial system. These designations also assist and complement law enforcement actions of other U.S. agencies and other governments to counter terrorist groups and individuals. Any assets currently held by U.S. financial institutions are also frozen and the individuals or groups are denied access to these funds and assets. 

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