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 are a part of the leadership, 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.
Aslan Avgazarovich Byutukaev and Ayrat Nasimovich Vakhitov both come from Russia.
Aslan Byutukayev was associated with the Islamic Caucasus Emirate, an al-Qa’ida affiliate operating primarily in Chechnya. This group had been designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. Government, as had two of its previous leaders, including close associate of Aslan Byutukayev, Dokku Umarov. Byutukayev was a leader within the group, but in June 2015 Byutukaev broke with the Islamic Caucasus Emirate and threw in his lot with ISIL, also known as Da’esh.
Since becoming an ISIL leader in June 2015, Byutukaev has planned attacks on behalf of the group; in November 2015 Russian special forces discovered a large bomb hidden on the side of the road in Kantyshevo, Ingushetiya, Russia, thwarting an ISIL attack directed by Byutukaev.
Ayrat Nasimovich Vakhitov is from the Russian territory of Tatarstan. He is associated with Jaish al-Muhajireen wal-Ansar, a Specially Designated terrorist group that has been active in the Syrian civil war. Vakhitov has also used the internet to recruit militants to travel to Syria.
Under Executive Order 13224, both Aslan Avgazarovich Byutukaev and Ayrat Nasimovich Vakhitov have been named by the U.S. Department of State, as Specially Designated Global Terrorists.
As a result of this designation, all property subject to U.S. jurisdiction in which Byutukaev and Vakhitov have any interest is blocked and U.S. persons are prohibited from engaging in any transactions with Byutukaev and Vakhitov.
By naming Byutukaev and Vakhitov Specially Designated Global Terrorists, the United States freezes any holdings or bank accounts they may have, effectively preventing them and their fellow conspirators from using such funds to support ISIL’s deadly agenda.