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Army Of Islam Designation

British journalist Alan Johnston was kidnapped by the Army of Islam on March 12, 2007. He was released in July 2007. (AP)

The United States has designated the Army of Islam as a terrorist organization.

The United States has designated the Army of Islam, or AOI, as a terrorist organization. The terrorist designation bans Americans from doing business with the group and freezes any assets it might have in the United States.

AOI was founded in 2005 and is based in the Gaza Strip. It has been responsible for numerous terrorist attacks against Israel and Egypt, as well as American, British and New Zealand citizens. These actions include a number of rocket attacks on Israel, the 2006 kidnapping of two Fox News journalists in Gaza, and the 2007 kidnapping of a British citizen, journalist Alan Johnston, in Gaza. The Army of Islam is also responsible for attacks on Egyptian civilians in Cairo and Heliopolis in 2009.

The group is led by Mumtaz Dughmush and operates primarily in the Palestinian territories. It subscribes to a Salafist ideology of global jihad and supports armed Palestinian resistance. The Army of Islam has previously worked with Hamas and is attempting to develop closer ties with al Qaida.

On May 7th, AOI released a eulogy for Osama bin Laden via its Al Nur Media Foundation.

The designation of terrorist organizations plays a critical role in the United States' fight against terrorism. It is an effective means of curtailing support for terrorist activities and pressuring groups to abandon terrorism. The consequences of these designations include a prohibition against U.S. persons providing material support or resources to, or engaging in other transactions with AOI and the freezing of all property and interest in property of the organization that are in the United States, or come within the United States, or the control of U.S. persons.

This is a time of great movements toward freedom and democracy across the Middle East and North Africa where people are rejecting the extremist narratives and charting a path of peaceful progress based on universal rights and aspirations. There is no better rebuke to terrorist organizations like Army of Islam and their murderous ideologies.