US State Department – Terrorist Designation of KTJ

Washington, DC (STL.NewsThe US Department of State released the following statement:

The United States is committed to addressing terrorist activity in ungoverned spaces in Syria through the judicious use of our counterterrorism tools and constructive engagement with our partners.

In keeping with that commitment, the Department of State is designating Katibat al Tawhid wal Jihad (KTJ) as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) pursuant to Executive Order 13224, as amended.  In addition to this SDGT designation, KTJ has also been added to the UNSC 1267/1989/2253/2610 ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions List, requiring all UN member states to implement an assets freeze, a travel ban, and an arms embargo against KTJ.

Affiliated with al-Qa’ida, KTJ operates primarily in Idlib Province, Syria alongside Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham and cooperates with other designated terrorist groups such as Katibat al-Imam al-Bukhari and Islamic Jihad Group.  In addition to engaging in terrorist activities in Syria, KTJ has also been responsible for conducting external attacks, such as the Saint Petersburg metro attack in April 2017 which killed 14 passengers and injured 50 others, as well as a suicide car bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan in August 2016 which wounded three people.

As a result of the SDGT designation, all property and interests in property of KTJ that are subject to U.S. jurisdiction are blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in any transactions with it.  Foreign financial institutions that knowingly conduct or facilitate any significant transaction on behalf of KTJ could also be subject to U.S. sanctions.

Designations of terrorist individuals and groups expose and isolate them and deny them access to the resources they need to carry out attacks.  Moreover, designations can assist the law enforcement actions of other U.S. agencies and governments.