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 financial support networks for terrorists and terrorist organizations.
On September 22, the State Department designated Muhammad Hisham Muhammad Isma’il Abu Ghazala as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist under Executive Order 13224. Abu Ghazala is an operative of Hamas, a Gaza-based Islamist group designated in 1997 by the U.S. Government as a foreign terrorist organization. He also has links to Iran, the world’s leading State Sponsor of Terrorism, and al-Qa’ida.
Abu Ghazala is involved in the design, manufacture, delivery and placement of home-made bombs, also known as improvised explosive devices, or IEDs. He has connections to a number of IED networks throughout northern Iraq, and is known to have disseminated numerous remote detonation device designs which were used by former regime elements and terror organizations in Iraq. He has also worked with rockets and unmanned aerial vehicles.
On July 2, 2006, the Central Criminal Court of Iraq issued an arrest warrant for Abu Ghazala. There is a $50,000 award for information leading to his capture.
Abu Ghazala plays an integral role in HAMAS and this action is designed to highlight the threat posed by Abu Ghazala while simultaneously assisting and complementing the law enforcement actions of other U.S. agencies.
Muhammad Hisham Muhammad Isma'il Abu Ghazala has demonstrated his commitment to violence. This designation is intended to disrupt his ability to support the deadly agendas of Hamas, Al-Qa'ida and other terrorist groups with which he collaborates.