US State Department Designates Two Senior Al-Shabaab Leaders, Abdullahi Osman Mohamed and Maalim Ayman as Terrorists


November 18, 2020


Written By Shmuel Yosef Agnon | Strategic Intelligence (SI)


The US Department of State, on 17th November 2020 designated Abdullahi Osman Mohamed and Maalim Ayman, senior leaders of Al-Shabaab, an Al-Qaeda affiliated terrorist group based in Somalia, as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs) under section 1(a)(ii)(B) of Executive Order (E.O.) 13224.

According to State Department, one operative identified as Abdullahi Osman Mohamed is a senior Al-Shabab officials and is popularly known as “Engineer Ismail” within Al-Shabaab ranks. He is the terrorist group’s senior explosive expert and he oversees overall management of the group’s explosives operations besides manufacturing.

Mohamed (Engineer Ismail) is also a special adviser to Al-Shabaab’s emir, Abu Ubaidah. He is also responsible of Al-Shabaab’s media wing, al-Kataib.

The other designated terror operative is identified as Maalim Ayman. According to the State Department, Ayman is the leader of Jaysh Ayman, an Al-Shabaab unit coordinating attacks in both Kenya and Somalia.

The US Department of State designated Al-Shabaab as a Foreign Terrorist Organization and SDGT in March 2008, one of Al-Qaeda’s most dangerous affiliates. Al-Shabaab continues to pose threat to the peace, security, and stability of Somalia, as well as that of her neighbor, Kenya.

The U.S. Government forces in collaboration with other coalition partner forces are committed to disrupting the illicit financing methods of Al-Shabaab thus limiting its ability to conduct further attacks against civilians, and supporting the Federal Government of Somalia in disrupting terrorism finance.

Addressing the Al-Shabaab threat will require concerted efforts, working closely with all CT-partners to degrade the terrorist group’s capacity, capabilities and operations, combatting its control and influence in East Africa regions.

Therefore, as a result of these designations, U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in any transactions with the two terrorist operatives, Mohamed and Ayman. Their property and interests in property subject to U.S. jurisdiction subsequently are blocked. In addition, it is a crime to knowingly provide, or attempt or conspire to provide, material support or resources to Al-Shabaab.


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