The U.S. State Department announced on Tuesday that it intends to designate new Islamic State leader Amir Muhammad Sa’id Abdal-Rahman al-Mawla as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist, or SDGT.
Al-Mawla succeeds former ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who died in October.
Al-Mawla was active in ISIS’s predecessor organization, Al-Qaeda in Iraq, and rose through the ranks of ISIS to become the deputy amir.
According to the State Department, he helped drive and attempt to justify the abduction, slaughter and trafficking of Yazidi religious minorities in northwest Iraq, as well as oversees the group’s global operations.
With this designation, U.S. persons will be generally prohibited from engaging in any transactions with al-Mawla, whose property and interests in property subject to U.S. jurisdiction will be blocked. It is a crime to knowingly provide, or attempt or conspire to provide, material support or resources to ISIS, a U.S.-designated terrorist organization and SDGT.
“Today’s announcement is part of a larger comprehensive effort to defeat ISIS that, in coordination with the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, has made significant progress,” said the State Department on March 17. “We have completely destroyed ISIS’s so-called ‘caliphate’ in Iraq and Syria, and we are taking the fight to its branches and networks around the world.
“This whole-of-government effort is destroying ISIS in its safe havens, denying its ability to recruit foreign terrorist fighters, stifling its financial resources, countering the false propaganda it disseminates over the Internet and social media, and helping to stabilize liberated areas in Iraq and Syria so the displaced can return to their homes and begin to rebuild their lives,” it said.