From time to time, the United States identifies certain individuals as crucial to the operation of terrorist organizations. Most often these are top leaders, or they help finance terrorist organizations. In all cases, these are people who have committed, or are deemed to pose a significant risk of committing, acts of terrorism.
When such an individual is identified, the U.S. Government places that person's name on the Specially Designated Nationals List. His assets within U.S. reach are immediately frozen, and he is locked out of the global financial network. No U.S. citizen or company may conduct business with a designated individual. In this way, the United States disrupts support networks for terrorists and terrorist organizations.
Such is the case with Abu Anas al-Ghandour, a military commander for the Specially Designated Foreign Terrorist Group Hamas. He leads a Hamas brigade in Gaza, has served on the Hamas Shura Council and political bureau, and has been involved in many terrorist operations.
In June 2006, Ghandour was involved in the attack on an Israel Defense Forces outpost at the Kerem Shalom border crossing. Two Israeli soldiers were killed and another two were wounded. A fifth, French-Israeli citizen Gilad Shalit, was kidnapped. He was held in captivity for five years.
For these and other activities, the United States Department of State designated Abu Anas al-Ghandour as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist under Executive Order 13224.
Today’s action notifies the U.S. public and the international community that Abu Anas al-Ghandour committed or poses a significant risk of committing acts of terrorism. 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 other U.S. agencies and governments’ law enforcement actions.