Office of the Spokesperson
September 28, 2016
The Department of State has designated Anas El Abboubi as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) under Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, which imposes sanctions on foreign persons and groups determined to have committed, or pose a significant risk of committing, acts of terrorism that threaten the security of U.S. nationals or the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the United States. As a result of this designation, all property subject to U.S. jurisdiction in which Abboubi has any interest is blocked and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in any transactions with Abboubi.
Anas El Abboubi has been fighting in Syria for the Foreign Terrorist Organization and SDGT group the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) since September 2013. He is one of approximately 50 foreign terrorist fighters of Italian origins fighting in Syria. Abboubi began to radicalize in 2012 after being relatively well known on the Italian hip hop scene as rapper McKhalif. In August 2012, he established the Italian branch of an extremist organization. In June 2013, Abboubi was arrested by the Brescia Police General Investigations and Special Operations Division and anti-terrorism forces for plotting a terrorist attack in Northern Italy and recruiting individuals for militant activity in Syria. He was released after two weeks in custody and fled to Syria shortly after.
The imposition of sanctions by the United States against terrorists is an important tool. Today’s action notifies the U.S. public and the international community that Anas El Abboubi poses a significant risk of committing acts of terrorism. Designations of terrorist individuals and groups expose and isolate organizations and individuals, and result in denial of access to the U.S. financial system. Moreover, designations can assist or complement the law enforcement actions of other U.S. agencies and other governments.
A list of U.S. designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations and SDGTs is available here: http://www.state.gov/j/ct/list/index.htm.