The Department of State has designated Said Arif as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist under Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, which targets terrorists and those providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism. The consequences of this designation include a prohibition against U.S. persons engaging in transactions with Said Arif, and the freezing of all property and interests of Said Arif that are in the United States, or come within the United States, or the possession or control of U.S. persons. Said Arif was also included in the annex of the recently adopted United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2170, which specifically condemns the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and al-Nusrah Front, both designated by the Department of State as Foreign Terrorist Organizations, as well as all other individuals, groups, undertakings, and entities associated with al-Qa’ida. Along with Arif’s U.S. designation, he will be added to the UN 1267/1989 al-Qa’ida Sanctions list, requiring all member states to implement an assets freeze, a travel ban, and an arms embargo against Arif.
Syria-based Algerian national Said Arif is wanted for arrest in France, and is the subject of an Interpol Red Notice. In October 2013, Arif fled house arrest in France, traveled to Syria, and joined the terrorist group al-Nusrah Front.
Arif is an Algerian army officer deserter, who traveled to Afghanistan in the 1990s, where he trained in al-Qa’ida camps with weapons and explosives. Arif is a long-time terrorist who was a suspect in the al-Qa’ida December 2000 plot to bomb the Strasbourg Christmas market.
In 2003, Arif was arrested and was put on trial in France with 25 others as part of the “Chechen Network.” The Chechen Network was accused of plotting to blow up the Eiffel Tower and conducting chemical attacks and attacks on malls and police stations in France. In 2006, Arif was convicted and sentenced for his role in these planned attacks. After his arrest, Arif publicly declared that al-Qa’ida was planning to attack an American military base in Spain using chemical weapons.
The consequences of this designation include a prohibition against U.S. persons engaging in transactions with Said Arif, and the freezing of all property and interests of Said Arif that are in the United States, or come within the United States or the possession or control of U.S. persons.