- Boehner accuses Obama of ‘legacy of lawlessness’
- Pro-marijuana group claims responsibility for Brooklyn Bridge flag swap
- Young adults shun Obamacare mostly due to cost: survey
- Stabbing attack on transgender girl, 15, was ‘bias motivated,’ police say
- LGBT adults still lean overwhelmingly toward Democratic Party
- Lawmakers rattled by Syria genocide horrors, call on Obama to act
- 3 African leaders cancel trip to U.S. over Ebola outbreak; Obama still plans summit
- Sarah Palin’s online channel hits snag as Stephen Colbert buys similar URL
- SWAT spends seven hours in standoff with empty home
- U.S. troops told not to eat, drink in front of Muslims during Ramadan
West African militants added to terrorist list
Question of the Day
The State Department on Friday added an al Qaeda splinter group in West Africa to an international terrorist watch list.
The Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJWA) and its two leaders were added to the U.S. Specially Designated Global Terrorist list, blocking their financial assets from U.S. markets and warning U.S. citizens against engaging in any transactions with the group.
The terrorist designation is part of a wider effort by international leaders and the United Nations clamp down on terrorism in Mali.
According to the State Department, MUJWA was "created in September 2011 after members broke off from al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb in order to spread their activities into West Africa."
"MUJWA has been behind violent terrorist attacks and kidnappings in the region, including the October 2012 suicide attack on a police base in Tamanrasset, Algeria, which wounded 23 people; and a June 2012 attack in Ouargla, Algeria, which killed on and injured three," the State Department said. "MUJWA was also responsible for the April 2012 kidnapping of seven Algerian diplomats in Gao, Mali."
The State Department also designated as terrorists two of the group's leaders, Hamad el Khairy and Ahmed el Tilemsi, asserting that both are "founding leaders of MUJWA."
"Khairy has been involved in MUJWA's kidnapping for ransom operations, personally claiming the group's April 2012 abduction of Algerian diplomats, and has appeared in MUJWA videos to make threats against those who oppose the organization," the State Department said.
"Prior to his leadership role in MUJWA, Khairy was a member of [al Qaeda in the Mahgreb], and was involved in planning terrorist operations against Mauritania in 2007."
Tilemsi is MUJWA's military head and "directly participated in the groups 2011 kidnapping of three aid workers in Algeria," the State Department said. He also was affiliated with al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.
MUJWA also has been listed by the U.N. al Qaeda Sanctions Committee, which requires member states to implement an assets freeze, travel ban and arms embargo against the group.
"The U.N. action demonstrates international resolve in eliminating MUJWA's violent activities in Mali and the surrounding region," the State Department said.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Guy Taylor is the National Security Team Leader at The Washington Times, overseeing the paper’s State Department, Pentagon and intelligence community coverage. He’s also a frequent guest on The McLaughlin Group and C-SPAN.
His series on political, economic and security developments in Mexico won a 2012 Virginia Press Association award.
Prior to rejoining The Times in 2011, his work was ...
- Israel's ambassador praises Obama, slams Human Rights Watch report
- U.S. intelligence nearly certain pro-Russian separatists downed Malaysian Airlines flight
- U.S. scrambles as violence escalates in Israel-Hamas conflict
- MH17: Fear of ground-to-air missile strike becomes nightmare reality in Ukraine
- U.S., China to participate in unprecedented joint ground force exercise
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
By Ted Cruz
Israel saves its enemies; Hamas endangers its friends
- Chicken pox outbreak puts illegal immigrant facility on lockdown
- Al Gore's climate-changers at EPA hearings foiled by cool temperatures
- CIA admits improperly hacking Senate computers in search of Bush-era information
- GOP report sees ties between rich donors, green 'nonprofits'
- CRUZ: A tale of two hospitals: One in Israel, one in Gaza
- Israel surprised by Hamas tunnel network
- NAPOLITANO: Is the president incompetent or lawless?
- Lois Lerner hated conservatives, new emails show
- Geraldo Rivera: Matt Drudge 'doing his best to stir up a civil war'
- House votes to sue President Obama over claims of presidential power
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world