The US Department of State has designated four leaders of the Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) and Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs), as part of Washington’s “relentless efforts to ensure that terrorists do not use Afghanistan as a platform for international terrorism”.
In a statement issued by the Department on Thursday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the “US is committed to using its full set of counterterrorism tools to counter the threat posed by terrorist groups operating in Afghanistan, including the AQIS and TTP”.
The four terrorist leaders designated as SDGTs are Osama Mehmood, emir of AQIS; Atif Yahya Ghouri, deputy emir of AQIS; Muhammad Maruf responsible for AQIS’ recruiting branch; and Qari Amjad the deputy emir of TTP who oversees operations and militants in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
“As a result of these actions, all property and interests in property of those designated that are subject to US jurisdiction are blocked, and all US persons are generally prohibited from engaging in any transactions with them,” Blinken was quoted as saying in the statement.
The “actions again demonstrate that we will continue to use all relevant tools to uphold our commitment to see to it that international terrorists are not able to operate with impunity in Afghanistan”.