Today the Secretary of State announced the designation of al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) operative Fahd al-Quso as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist under Executive Order 13224, which targets terrorists and those providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism. Al-Quso was also added to the United Nations (UN) 1267 Sanctions Committee’s Consolidated List of individuals associated with al Qa’ida and the Taliban. These actions will help stem the flow of finances to, and inhibit the travel of, this dangerous operative.
“The designation of Fahd al-Quso highlights U.S. action against the threat posed to the United States by al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula,” said U.S. Ambassador for Counterterrorism Daniel Benjamin. “Today’s joint designation by the United States and the United Nations alerts the public that Fahd al-Quso is actively engaged in terrorism. These actions expose and isolate individuals like al-Quso and results in denial of access to the global financial system.”
Prior to the formation of AQAP, al-Quso was associated with al-Qa’ida elements in Yemen and involved in the 2000 USS Cole bombing in the Port of Aden, which killed 17 U.S. citizens. For his involvement in the attack, al-Quso was jailed in Yemen in 2002. Following his release from prison in 2007, al-Quso joined al-Qa’ida in Yemen.. In November 2009, al-Quso was added to the list of the FBI’s most wanted terrorists. Al-Quso is connected to other designated AQAP senior leaders, including Anwar al-Awlaqi, Nasir al-Wahishi, and Said Ali al-Shihri, and acts as a cell leader in Yemen. In May 2010, al-Quso appeared in an AQAP video in which he threatened to attack the U.S. homeland, as well as U.S. embassies and naval vessels abroad.
The designation under E.O. 13224 blocks all al-Quso’s property interests subject to U.S. jurisdiction and prohibits U.S. persons from engaging in transactions for the benefit of al-Quso. In addition to the U.S. domestic action taken today, the United Nations 1267 Sanctions Committee’s listing will require all UN member states to implement an assets freeze, a travel ban, and an arms embargo against this individual. The actions taken against this AQAP operative demonstrate international resolve in eliminating AQAP’s ability to execute violent attacks and to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat their networks. This designation represents just one phase of the U.S. Government’s response to the threat posed by AQAP.