State Department Terrorist Designations of Siddhartha Dhar and Abdelatif Gaini
The Department of State has designated two ISIS members, Siddhartha Dhar and Abdelatif Gaini, as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs) under Section 1(b) of Executive Order (E.O.) 13224. E.O. 13224 imposes sanctions on foreign persons 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. These designations seek to deny Dhar and Gaini the resources they need to plan and carry out further terrorist attacks. Among other consequences, all of Dhar’s and Gaini’s property and interests in property subject to U.S. jurisdiction are blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in any transactions with them.
Siddhartha Dhar was a leading member of now-defunct terrorist organization Al-Muhajiroun. In late 2014, Dhar left the United Kingdom to travel to Syria to join ISIS. He is considered to have replaced ISIS executioner Mohammad Emwazi, also known as “Jihadi John.” Dhar is believed to be the masked leader who appeared in a January 2016 ISIS video of the execution of several prisoners ISIS accused of spying for the UK.
Abdelatif Gaini is a Belgian-Moroccan citizen believed to be fighting for ISIS in the Middle East. Gaini is connected to UK-based ISIS sympathizers Mohamad Ali Ahmed and Humza Ali, who were convicted in the UK in 2016 of terrorism offenses.
Today’s action notifies the U.S. public and the international community that Dhar and Gaini have committed or pose a significant risk of committing acts of terrorism. Terrorism designations expose and isolate organizations and individuals, and deny them access to the U.S. financial system. Moreover, designations can assist the law enforcement activities of U.S. agencies and other governments.
A list of State Department-designated FTOs and SDGTs is available here: https://www.state.gov/j/ct/rls/other/des/index.htm.