When the United States identifies a terrorist group, or individuals who may have a hand in helping to move or raise money on behalf of terrorists, we lock them out of the international banking system, thus taking away their ability to transfer money to vendors and to receive money from donors. We freeze what funds they may have in the banking system and within reach of the United States, and ensure that no businesses or manufacturers will trade with them.
That is essentially what happens when the United States designates, under Executive Order 13224, an individual or group deemed to be terrorist in nature, or likely to commit terrorist activity.
In late September, the United States Department of State added Jund al-Aqsa to the Specially Designated Global Terrorist entity list. Jund al-Aqsa operates in northern Syria, primarily in the Idlib and Hama governorates. It is affiliated with al Qa’ida and was founded in 2012 as a subunit within the State Department designated Foreign Terrorist Organization and Specially Designated Global Terrorist group al-Nusra Front, by an associate of some of al Qa’ida’s top leaders of that time.
At times, Jund al-Aqsa and al- Nusrah Front have cooperated and fought in tandem, though Jund al Aqsa has also operated independently.
In February 2014, Jund al-Aqsa participated in a massacre in central Hama province, killing 40 civilians in Maan village. One year later, in March 2015, the group launched two suicide bombings at checkpoints on the outskirts of Idlib.
A terrorism designation is intended to make operations more difficult for terrorists. It can expose and isolate organizations engaged in terrorism. It also prevents their members and allies from using their resources to continue their nefarious activities.
By designating Jund al-Aqsa a Specially Designated Global Terrorist entity, the United States is taking a decisive step toward disrupting its ability, and the ability of its members and associates, from executing their deadly agendas.