US lists al-Qaeda-affiliated group leader in Syria as ‘global terrorist’

Washington, Apr 12 (EFE).- The United States has designated the head of an al-Qaeda-affiliated Islamist extremist group as a “specially designated global terrorist.”

The Islamist extremist group, Hurras al-Din, led by Sami Mahmud Mohammed al-Uraydi was designated by the US as a terrorist group in September 2019.

A Statement Department press release said the US remained “committed to disrupting al-Qaeda affiliates who exploit under-governed spaces and conflict zones in Syria.”

The statement said groups like Hurras al-Din (HaD) were responsible for killings, kidnappings, and violent targeting of members of religious minority groups.

“The Department of State is designating Sami Mahmud Mohammed al-Uraydi as a specially designated global terrorist for his leadership role in HaD,” said the statement.

The Jordanian national is considered the leader of the group’s highest decision-making body.

The US justice department has offered a reward of up to $5 million for information on the identification or location of al-Uraydi.

The designation as a terrorist means that all property and interests in the property of al-Uraydi subject to US jurisdiction are blocked.

All US citizens are prohibited from engaging in any transactions with him.

Any American or foreign persons that engage in certain transactions with this individual may be exposed to sanctions risk, including under secondary sanctions authorities.

Last year, the European Union (EU) included al Uryadi and Hurras al-Din in its sanctioned list.

The office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) says the Hurras al-Din replaced the Nusrah Front as al-Qaeida’s formal presence in Syria in February 2018.

The group came into existence when al-Qaeda loyalists—opposed to a decision by the Nusrah Front to break from the network, merged with other groups opposing the Syrian government

The group adheres to al-Qaeda’s jihadist ideology, advocating attacks against the West and Israel to expel foreign influence from Muslim lands.

It seeks to set the conditions necessary to form a new caliphate across the Levant and the broader Middle East, according to the DNI. EFE


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