US Lists Hamas Leader Haniyeh as “Specially Designated Global Terrorist”
In a move aimed at terrorism, the US State Department listed Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, Harakat al-Sabireen, Liwa al Thawra, and Harakat Sawa’d Misr (HASM) as “Specially Designated Global Terrorists.” What does the designation mean? It means their finances are being cut off.
The designation was made on January 31, while everyone was thinking about the memo.
“…these designations target key terrorist groups and leaders – including two sponsored and directed by Iran – who are threatening the stability of the Middle East, undermining the peace process, and attacking our allies Egypt and Israel. Today’s actions are an important step in denying them the resources they need to plan and carry out their terrorist activities.” Rex Tillerson, Secretary of State
The US is the first country outside of Israel to make this move. Hamas has been a listed as a Foreign Terror organization for years. But making the special global terrorist list will freeze all of Haniyeh’s assets.
“All assets belonging to Haniyeh under US jurisdiction will be frozen. This designation allows us to dry up the sources of funding and kick them out of the international financial system. We don’t want to only stop the bomber, but the person who buys the bombs.” Ambassador Nathan Sales
According to a State Department press release,
Ismail Haniyeh is the leader and President of the Political Bureau of Hamas, which was designated in 1997 as a Foreign Terrorist Organization and in 2001 as an SDGT. Haniyeh has close links with Hamas’ military wing and has been a proponent of armed struggle, including against civilians. He has reportedly been involved in terrorist attacks against Israeli citizens. Hamas has been responsible for an estimated 17 American lives killed in terrorist attacks.
Harakat al-Sabireen is an Iranian backed terrorist group that was established in 2014. The group operates primarily in Gaza and the West Bank and is led by Hisham Salem, a former leader of the Palestine Islamic Jihad (PIJ), a State Department designated FTO and SDGT. Harakat al-Sabireen has carried out terrorist activities targeting Israel, pursues an anti-American agenda, and has attracted members and supporters of PIJ. These planned and executed terrorist attacks include firing rockets into Israel in September 2015 and detonating an explosive device targeting an Israeli army patrol in December 2015. Harakat al-Sabireen also previously established a rocket factory in Gaza that was destroyed in the summer of 2014, and the group had plans to carry out attacks against Israel in February 2016. Palestinian Authority security forces arrested five Harakat al-Sabireen operatives who were working under Iranian orders and received funding in Gaza to carry out their attacks.
Liwa al-Thawra is a terrorist group active in the Qalyubia and Monofeya governorates of Egypt. After announcing its formation in August 2016, the group claimed responsibility for the October 2016 assassination of brigadier general Adel Ragai, commander of the Egyptian army’s Ninth Armored Division, outside his home in Cairo. In 2017, the group claimed responsibility for a bombing outside a police training center in the Egyptian city of Tanta.
HASM is a terrorist group also active in Egypt. Formed in 2015, the group claimed responsibility for the assassination of Egyptian National Security Agency officer Ibrahim Azzazy, as well as the attempted assassination of Egypt’s former Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa. HASM also claimed responsibility for a September 30, 2017 attack on Myanmar’s embassy in Cairo. Some of the leaders of the violent splinter groups, Liwa al-Thawra and Hasm, were previously associated with the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood.