State Department Terrorist Designation of Musa Abu Dawud

Bureau of Counterterrorism and Countering Violent Extremism
May 5, 2016


The Department of State has designated Musa Abu Dawud as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) under section 1(b) of Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, which imposes sanctions on foreign persons that have committed, or pose a serious 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 this designation, all property subject to U.S. jurisdiction in which Musa Abu Dawud has any interest is blocked and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in any transactions with Dawud.

Musa Abu Dawud began engaging in terrorist activity as early as 1992. He was a senior member of the Algerian Salafist Group for Call and Combat (GSPC), now known as al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization, and participated in multiple terrorist attacks in that capacity. In 2012, Dawud was appointed commander of the southern zone for AQIM. As a senior leader for AQIM, Dawud is responsible for multiple terrorist attacks, including the February 4–5, 2013, attack on the military barracks in Khenchela, Algeria, that injured multiple soldiers and a July 2013 attack on a Tunisian military patrol in the Mount Chaambi area that killed nine soldiers. Dawud is also in charge of the training and recruitment of new members for AQIM. In February 2013, he was put in charge of a mission in Tunisia tasked with recruiting and training new members from across North Africa on the use of weapons.

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 Musa Abu Dawud is 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