State Department Terrorist Designations of Abdullah Ahmed al-Meshedani, Basil Hassan, and Abdelilah Himich

Bureau of Counterterrorism and Countering Violent Extremism
November 22, 2016

The Department of State has designated Abdullah Ahmed al-Meshedani, Basil Hassan, and Abdelilah Himich as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs) under Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, which imposes sanctions on foreign persons and groups determined to have committed, or pose a significant risk of committing, acts of terrorism that threaten the security of U.S. nationals or the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the United States. As a result of these designations, all property subject to U.S. jurisdiction in which al-Meshedani, Hassan, and Himich have any interest is blocked and U.S. persons are prohibited from engaging in any transactions with these individuals.

Abdullah Ahmed al-Meshedani is an Iraqi Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) leader who manages arriving foreign terrorist fighters, handles guesthouses for them, and transports suicide bombers on behalf of ISIL. He is also reportedly an advisor who reports to State Department Specially Designated Global Terrorist ISIL senior leader Ibrahim Awwad Ibrahim Ali al-Badri, also known as Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, also known as Abu Du’a.

Basil Hassan is an external operations plotter for ISIL. In 2013, Hassan was accused of shooting Lars Hedegaard, a 70-year old Danish author and journalist. After being arrested in Turkey in 2014, he was released as part of an alleged exchange for 49 hostages held by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). After his release, Hassan was believed to have travelled to Syria to join ISIL.

Abdelilah Himich, also known as Abu Sulayman al-Faransi, is a senior foreign terrorist fighter and external operations figure for the Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) and SDGT group, ISIL. Himich created the Tariq Ibn Ziyad Battalion in 2015, a European foreign terrorist fighter cell that has provided operatives for ISIL attacks in Iraq, Syria, and abroad; at one time the battalion numbered as many as 300 members. Himich was also reportedly involved in the planning of ISIL’s November 2015 Paris attacks and March 2016 Brussels attacks.

The imposition of sanctions by the United States against terrorists is a powerful tool. Today’s action notifies the U.S. public and the international community that al-Meshedani, Hassan, and Himich are actively engaged in terrorism. Designations of terrorist individuals and groups expose and isolate organizations and individuals, and result in denial of access to the U.S. financial system. Moreover, designations can assist or complement the law enforcement actions of other U.S. agencies and other governments.

A list of U.S. designated FTOs and SDGTs is available here:


Name: Abdullah Ahmed al-Meshedani

AKA: Abdullah Ahmed al-Mashhadani

AKA: Abdullah Ahmad al-Mashhadani

AKA: Abu Qassim

AKA: Abu Kassem

AKA: Abu al-Qasem

DOB: January 21, 1968

POB: Iraq

Name: Basil Hassan

DOB: Circa 1987

POB: Lebanon

Location: Syria

Name: Abdelilah Himich

AKA: Abu Sulayman al-Faransi

AKA: Abu Suleyman al-Firansi

AKA: Abu Suleyman

AKA: Abou Souleiman Al-Firansi

AKA: Abu Sulayman al-Faransi

AKA: Abu Souleymane

AKA: Abu Souleymaine al-Faransi

AKA: Abu Suleiman

DOB: November, 1989

POB: Morocco

Location: al Bab, Syria