“Terrorism remains an active threat [in Africa], as al-Qa’ida and ISIS-aligned terrorist groups expand their influence and reach in some regions,” said Lieutenant General Scott Berrier, the U.S. Army Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency. “Al-Qa’ida’s affiliate, al-Shabaab, poses a particularly strong terrorist threat in East Africa.”
He warned that “In the Sahel, the al-Qa’ida–affiliated group [Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal Muslimin] and ISIS in the Greater Sahara continued their attacks,” while “A fledgling ISIS insurgency expanded in northern Mozambique in 2020.”
The United States Department of State has identified five leaders of these terrorist groups and designated them as Specially Designated Global Terrorist under Executive Order 13224, as amended.
Bonomade Machude Omar, also known as Abu Sulayfa Muhammad and Ibn Omar, leads the Military and External Affairs Departments for ISIS-Mozambique and serves as the senior commander and lead coordinator for all attacks conducted by the group in northern Mozambique.
Sidanag Hitta, also known as Abu Qarwaniand Abu Abdelhakim al-Kidali, is a senior leader and commander responsible for the Kidal Region in Mali within Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal Muslimin, or JNIM.
Salem ould Breihmatt, also known as Abu Hamza al-Shanqiti and Hamza al-Mauritani, is a JNIM senior leader and emir of Arbinda and Serma in the Mopti Region of Mali.
Ali Mohamed Rage, also known as Ali Dheere, is al-Shabaab’s spokesman and a senior leader of the group. He has been involved in planning attacks in Kenya and Somalia.
Abdikadir Mohamed Abdikadir, also known as Ikrima, is an al-Shabaab senior leader and served as the Head of Operations and Logistics. He is a facilitator and operational planner for al-Shabaab.
As a result of these designations, the property and interests in property of these persons is subject to U.S. jurisdiction. U.S. citizens are prohibited from engaging in any transactions with them.
“The United States is committed to disrupting the financing methods of ISIS-Mozambique, JNIM, and al-Shabaab — all of which are designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations and Specially Designated Global Terrorists — limiting their abilities to conduct further attacks against civilians and supporting our partners in efforts to disrupt terrorism finance,” said Secretary of State Antony Blinken in a written statement. “Addressing the terrorist threat across the continent will require working closely with our partners to degrade the capacity and operations of these terrorist groups, combatting their control and influence in West, East, and Southern Africa.”