The Department of State designated Saleh al-Qarawi as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist under section 1(b) of Executive Order 13224. Al-Qarawi al is a senior leader and operative for the Abdullah Azzam Brigades (AAB), a Lebanese militant organization. According to media reports, AAB claimed responsibility for the July 28, 2010 maritime bombing of a Japanese oil tanker, the M. Star. AAB has also claimed responsibility for firing several rockets into Israel from Lebanon since 2009. Prior to his activity with AAB, al-Qarawi fought against U.S. forces in Fallujah, Iraq. While there, he worked with now-deceased Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the former head of al-Qa’ida in Iraq.
Al-Qarawi is a Saudi citizen currently wanted for extradition by the Government of Saudi Arabia for participating in extremist activities abroad. He is also the subject of an Interpol Orange Notice issued on March 25, 2009, for activities related to terrorism.
The designation under E.O. 13224 blocks all of al-Qarawi’s property interests subject to U.S. jurisdiction and prohibits U.S. persons from engaging in transactions with or for the benefit of al-Qarawi. The action taken against this individual demonstrates the United States’ resolve in eliminating AAB’s ability to execute violent attacks. The Department of State took these actions in consultation with the Departments of Justice and Treasury.