From time to time, the United States identifies individuals who are important to the operation or specific agenda of a terrorist organization. In all cases, these are people who have committed, or are deemed to pose a significant risk of committing, acts of terrorism.
Occasionally, the designated individual is already in custody. This is the case of Anjem Choudary, who was named by the U.S. State Department as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist. Choudary was arrested in 2014, and sentence to prison in 2016 for pledging allegiance to ISIS, and for acting as a key figure in the group’s recruitment drive.
Along with Choudary, four other men were Designated as Specially Designated Global Terrorists. They include Sami Bouras, a Swedish national of Tunisian descent and a member of al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula, who is known to have planned suicide terror attacks; Shane Dominic Crawford of Trinidad and Tobago, who fights for ISIS in Syria and acts as an English language propagandist for the group; and Mark John Taylor of New Zealand, who has been fighting in Syria with ISIS since the fall of 2014, and appeared in a 2015 ISIS propaganda video to encourage terrorist attacks in Australia and New Zealand.
The final member of this group is El Shafee Elsheikh, a member of a group of brutal ISIS operatives, dubbed The Beatles for their heavy British accents, who were put in charge of foreign-born hostages held by ISIS. Elsheikh and the other three members of The Beatles were markedly more brutal than other guards, using extreme methods to torture the prisoners. To date, they have executed at least 27 prisoners. A number of these executions were videotaped and posted on the Internet by ISIS.
On March 31st, these five men were marked by the U.S State Department as Specially Designated Global Terrorists under Executive Order 13224. Their assets within U.S. reach are now frozen, and no U.S. citizen or company may conduct business with them.
Designations expose and isolate organizations and individuals, and result in denial of access to the U.S. financial system. Moreover, designations can assist or complement the law enforcement actions of other governments.