From time to time, the United States identifies individuals who are crucial to the operation or specific agenda of a terrorist organization. Most often these people are a part of the leadership, or they help finance terrorist organizations. In all cases, they have committed or are deemed to pose a significant risk of committing acts of terrorism, or they serve as important cogs in networks that support or propagate terrorist activity.
In mid-September, the U.S. Department of State designated as A Specially Designated Global Terrorist under Executive Order 13224, Fathi Ahmad Mohammad Hammad: a political leader of the Hamas Palestinian Islamic fundamentalist organization that has, for the past nine years, been the governing authority of the Gaza Strip.
As a senior Hamas official, Fathi Hammad has engaged in terrorist activity for Hamas, said State Department Spokesperson John Kirby:
“He was engaged in terrorist activity while serving as a senior member of Hamas, a U.S. State Department Designated Foreign Terrorist Organization and Specially Designated Global Terrorist Organization. Hammad has served as Hamas’s interior minister where he was responsible for security within Gaza – a position he used to coordinate terrorist cells. He established al-Aqsa TV, which was designated in March 2010 by the Treasury Department as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist under the executive order – same executive order – 13224. Al-Aqsa TV is a primary Hamas media outlet that airs programs designed to recruit children to become Hamas armed fighters and suicide bombers upon reaching adulthood.”
A terrorism designation can expose and isolate organizations and individuals engaged in terrorism. As a result of this designation, all property subject to U.S. jurisdiction in which Fathi Ahmad Mohammad Hammad has any interest is blocked, and U.S. persons are prohibited from engaging in any transactions with him.
By naming Fathi Hammad a Specially Designated Global Terrorist, the United States freezes any holdings or bank accounts he may have and locks him out of the international banking system, making it more difficult for him and his fellow conspirators to further the deadly agenda of Hamas.