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US declared three IS activists as global terrorists

WASHINGTON: The US Department of State on Thursday designated three activists of the militant Islamic State group as specially designated global terrorists, identifying one of them as the group’s head recruiter in India.

An executive order said that all three — Mohammad Shafi Armar, Oussama Ahmad Atar, and Mohammed Isa Yousif Saqar Al Binali — were determined to have committed, or pose a significant risk of committing, acts of terrorism that threaten the security of US nationals, or the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the United States.

The order identified Mohammad Shafi Armar as a leader and head recruiter in India for IS who has cultivated “dozens of ISIS sympathisers involved in terrorist activities across India,” such as plotting attacks, procuring weapons, and identifying locations for terrorist training camps.

Oussama Ahmad Atar is a senior leader of IS’s external operations efforts and has established a network to carry out attacks in Europe. He was a leading coordinator of the Nov 2015 Paris attacks and March 2016 attacks in Brussels, the State Department said.

The Belgian-Moroccan national was responsible for recruiting, training, and sending at least some of the individuals to Paris

to launch the Nov 2015 attacks, which killed and injured hundreds, including Americans.

He also recruited and mentored two of the bombers involved in the March 2016 Brussels attacks that killed 32 and left many more wounded.

Mohammed Isa Yousif Saqar Al Binali is a senior member of IS. Binali departed Bahrain to join the terrorist group in 2014 and has since appeared in multiple IS propaganda videos calling on Bahrainis, specifically members of Bahrain’s security forces, to join IS.

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Azhar Hashmi

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