The Secretary of State designated Army of Islam (AOI) as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) under Section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act. The Secretary also designated AOI under section 1(b) of Executive Order 13224. AOI is a Gaza Strip-based terrorist organization founded in late 2005, which has been responsible for numerous terrorist acts against the Governments of Israel and Egypt, as well as American, British and New Zealander citizens. These actions include a number of rocket attacks on Israel, the 2006 kidnapping of two Fox News journalists in Gaza (an American and a New Zealander) and the 2007 kidnapping of a British citizen, journalist Alan Johnston, in Gaza. The group is also responsible for early 2009 attacks on Egyptian civilians in Cairo and Heliopolis, which resulted in casualties and deaths.
The group is led by Mumtaz Dughmush and operates primarily in the Gaza Strip and Palestinian territories. It subscribes to a Salafist ideology of global jihad together with the traditional model of armed Palestinian resistance. AOI has previously worked with Hamas and is attempting to develop closer al-Qa’ida contacts. On May 7 the group released a eulogy for Osama bin Laden via its Al Nur Media Foundation.
These designations play a critical role in our fight against terrorism and are an effective means of curtailing support for terrorist activities and pressuring groups to abandon terrorism. The consequences of these designations include a prohibition against U.S. persons providing material support or resources to, or engaging in other transactions with, AOI, and the freezing of all property and interests in property of the organization that are in the United States, or come within the United States, or the control of U.S. persons. The Department of State took these actions in consultation with the Attorney General and the Secretary of the Treasury.