WASHINGTON – The Trump administration on Thursday added three senior members of the Islamic State group to a terrorism blacklist, including the group’s leader and chief recruiter in India and a recruiter for attackers who carried out two deadly assaults in Europe.
The State Department and Treasury said the trio have committed or pose a significant risk of committing terrorist attacks that threaten U.S. citizens or U.S. national interests. The move adds them to a list of Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGT), freezing any assets they may have in U.S. jurisdictions and barring U.S. citizens from any transactions with them.
Authorities in France and Belgium have identified one of the men, Oussama Atar, as an organizer of both the November 2015 attack in Paris and the March 2016 attack in Brussels that together killed 162 people. The Belgian-Moroccan national is believed to have played a major role in setting up the cell that is blamed for the two strikes.
The designation also applies to Mohammad Armar, who was identified as a leader and head recruiter for the Islamic State group in India. The State Department said Armar has recruited dozens of I.S. sympathizers throughout India who are plotting attacks, acquiring weapons and scouting locations for training camps.
The third man added to the list is Mohammed Al Binali from Bahrain, who has appeared in numerous propaganda videos encouraging fellow Bahrainis, particularly police and soldiers, to join the Islamic State group, according to the State Department.