Simon Ateba covers the White House, the U.S. government, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions for Today News Africa in Washington D.C. Simon can be reached on email@example.com
The Trump administration on Tuesday designated the leader of the Islamic State West Africa also known as Boko Haram a global terrorist. Other groups and persons were also designated as terrorist organizations or global terrorists.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made the announcement at a press briefing in Washington D.C., saying that President Donald Trump had issued an executive order to that effect.
“Today, the President signed an Executive Order modernizing and expanding sanctions to combat terrorism. This Executive Order – the most significant update of terrorism designation authorities since the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks – enhances the United States’ ability to target and deprive terrorists and their enablers of financial, material, and logistical support worldwide,” Pompeo said.
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“Today’s expansion of our counterterrorism authorities enables us to more effectively sanction the leaders of terrorist organizations, as well as those who participate in training to commit acts of terrorism. This Order also puts foreign financial institutions on notice that they risk sanctions if they knowingly conduct or facilitate any significant transactions on behalf of designated terrorists.
“The State Department is moving aggressively to implement these new authorities. Today, the Department has designated one terrorist group – Hurras al-Din, an al-Qa’ida affiliate in Syria – as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT).
“The Department has also designated as SDGTs 12 leaders of previously designated groups, including Hizballah, HAMAS, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, ISIS, ISIS-Philippines, ISIS-West Africa, and Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan.
“In addition to these actions, the Department of the Treasury has designated 15 additional terrorists affiliated with ISIS, ISIS-Philippines, ISIS-Khorasan, al-Qa’ida, HAMAS, and Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force under the same authority.
“Today’s actions ensure that no effort is spared to preserve the security of the United States, modernize our tools and authorities to counter terrorism, and deny terrorists the resources to plan and carry out attacks,” he added.
In a statement, President Donald Trump himself said: “I have issued an Executive Order to modernize and expand sanctions to combat terrorism.
“The Order enhances our ability to use powerful sanctions to target terrorists and their supporters and deprive them of their financial, material, and logistical support worldwide. Foreign financial institutions are now on notice that they risk sanctions if they knowingly conduct or facilitate any significant transactions with designated terrorists and terrorist enablers.
“Since my first day in office, my Administration has worked tirelessly to preserve the safety and security of the United States and its citizens. The United States and our partners have liberated 100% of ISIS-held territory in Syria and Iraq and dealt significant blows to ISIS, al-Qa’ida, and Hizballah’s financial and operational networks around the world.
“The United States will continue to aggressively use all levers of American power, including financial sanctions, to target terrorists and those who enable, facilitate, and finance their heinous acts”.
The announcement came the same day President Trump fired John Bolton, his National Security Adviser, although Bolton said in a tweet that he offered to resign.