NEW YORK: In yet another bold step by the Donald Trump Administration painting Pakistan's status as a terror safe haven, the United States government has issued a new executive order declaring Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan chief Noor Wali as a terrorist. The US action would enhance the country’s ability to target terrorists and those who finance their activities.
The new executive order signed by President Trump also enables the US agencies to identify, sanction and deter perpetrators of terrorism worldwide. Utilising the new order, issued on the eve of the 9/11 anniversary on Tuesday, the Treasury Department sanctioned over two dozen individuals and entities from 11 terrorist groups, including Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).
It allows the US government to better target terror group leaders and provides new tools to pursue individuals who participate in terrorist training, Treasury Department Secretary Steven Mnuchin said.
The executive order also authorises secondary sanctions on foreign financial institutions that have knowingly conducted or facilitated significant transactions with sanctioned persons, Mnuchin said. He added that the order targets those actors for and behalf of specially-designated global terrorists.
“Specifically, we have leaders, operative and financiers from over 11 terrorist organisations, including Iran’s Quds Forces, Hamas, ISIS, Al Qaeda, and their affiliates,” Mnuchin told White House reporters at a joint news conference with the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
“The government has taken more action than we ever have before,” the treasury secretary said, asserting that his department was enhancing efforts to deny terrorist access to the financial system. Pompeo, meanwhile, described the executive order as the “most-significant update” to counterterrorism sanctions authority since September 2001.
The executive order signed by the President seeks to deny these terrorists the resources to plan and carry out attacks. All of their property and interests in property subject to US jurisdiction will be blocked, and US nationals are generally prohibited from engaging in any transactions with them.
Among those who have been sanctioned as global terrorists are: -
Noor Wali: Noor Wali, also known as Mufti Noor Wali Mehsud, was named the leader of Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in June 2018 following the death of former TTP leader Mullah Fazlullah. Under Noor Wali’s leadership, TTP has claimed responsibility for numerous deadly terrorist attacks across Pakistan.
Marwan Issa: Marwan Issa is the deputy commander of the Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades, the operational arm of HAMAS.
Muhammad al-Hindi: Muhammad al-Hindi is the Deputy Secretary-General of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
Baha’ Abu al-‘Ata: Baha’ Abu al-‘Ata, a member of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s Higher Military Council, is a commander of the Gaza and North Battalion in the Al-Quds Brigade.
Ali Karaki: Ali Karaki, is a senior leader within Hizballah’s Jihad Council. He led Mu’awaniyeh 105 (Southern Command) and was responsible for military operations in southern Lebanon.
Southern Command was divided into five geographic fronts (Mihwar), each consisting of a group of villages in a geographically contiguous strip.
Muhammad Haydar: Muhammad Haydar is a senior leader within Hizballah’s Jihad Council. Haydar was the Chief of Bureau 113 and ran Hizballah networks operating outside of Lebanon and appointed leaders of various units. He was very close to deceased senior Hizballah official Imad Mughniyah. In 2004, Haydar was elected to the Lebanese Parliament.
Fu’ad Shukr: Fu’ad Shukr, a senior Hizballah Jihad Council member, oversaw Hizballah’s specialized weapons units in Syria, including its missile and rocket unit. He is a senior military advisor to Hizballah Secretary-General Hasan Nasrallah and played a central role in the planning and execution of the October 23, 1983 US Marine Corps Barracks Bombing in Beirut, Lebanon, which killed 241 U.S. service personnel.
Ibrahim ‘Aqil: Ibrahim ‘Aqil, a senior Hizballah Jihad Council member, is Hizballah’s military operations commander.
Hajji Taysir: Hajji Taysir is an ISIS senior leader and reports to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. As the ISIS Wali of Iraq and former amir of improvised explosive devices, Hajji Taysir likely ordered IED attacks in the region. He was considered a booby-trap expert while working in ISIS’ booby-trap headquarters in 2016.
Abu Abdullah ibn Umar al-Barnawi: Abu Abdullah ibn Umar al-Barnawi, Amir of ISIS-West Africa, was previously active in Boko Haram.
Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan: Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan is the amir of ISIS-Philippines and is the mastermind behind the January 27, 2019 Jolo City cathedral bombing that killed 23 and wounded 109.
Hurras al-Din: Hurras al-Din is an al-Qa’ida-affiliated jihadist group that emerged in Syria in early 2018 after several factions broke away from Hayat Tahrir al-Sham.
Faruq al-Suri: Syrian national Faruq al-Suri, also known as Abu Humam al-Shami, is the leader of Hurras al-Din and a former al-Nusra Front military commander in Syria.