U.S. designates Ousmane Illiassou Djibo of Niger as global terrorist

The United States on Monday designated Ousmane Illiassou Djibo, also known as Petit Chapori, as a global terrorist.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Ousmane Illiassou Djibo, a native Nigerien, is an Islamic State of Iraq and Syria in the Greater Sahara (ISIS-GS) leader operating in the Menaka Region of Mali, and a close collaborator and key lieutenant of ISIS-GS leader, Adnan Abu Walid al-Sahrawi.

He said Djibo directed subordinate ISIS-GS members to develop a network to kidnap or attack westerners in Niger and surrounding areas, and has also taken part in numerous assaults on local forces.

“He led ISIS-GS fighters in the July 1, 2019 attack on the Nigerien Armed Forces (FAN) base in Inates, Tillaberi Region, Niger, and also provided the order for ISIS-GS fighters to take six Nigerien soldiers hostage during an ambush on Nigerien soldiers near Tongo Tongo on May 14, 2019,” Blinken said in a statement.

He said Djibo who was named “as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) under section 1(a)(ii)(B) of Executive Order (E.O.) 13224.”

“As a result of this designation, U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in any transactions with Djibo.  His property and interests in property subject to U.S. jurisdiction are blocked,” Blinken said.

He added: “ISIS-GS, which was designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) and SDGT in May 2018, continues to threaten the peace, security, and stability of Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso. ISIS-GS emerged when Adnan Abu Walid al-Sahrawi and his followers split from Al-Mourabitoun, an al-Qa’ida splinter group and U.S.-designated FTO and SDGT.  Al-Sahrawi first pledged allegiance to ISIS in May 2015, and ISIS acknowledged the pledge in October 2016.

“Today’s designation notifies the U.S. public and the international community that Ousmane Illiassou Djibo is a leader of a terrorist organization.  Terrorist designations expose and isolate entities and individuals, and limit their access to the U.S. financial system.  Moreover, designations can assist the law enforcement activities of U.S. agencies and other governments.”

Chief White House Correspondent for

Simon Ateba is Chief White House Correspondent for Today News Africa. Simon covers President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, the U.S. government, the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions in Washington D.C. and New York City.

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