On March 17, 2017.Office of the Spokesperson of the state department made the following announcement:
The Department of State has designated Ahmad Hasan Yusuf and Alsayed Murtadha Majeed Ramadhan Alawi as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGT) under Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, which imposes sanctions on foreign persons who have committed, or pose a serious 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 consequence of these designations, U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions or dealings with Yusuf or Alawi, and all of Yusuf’s and Alawi’s property and interests in property subject to United States jurisdiction is frozen.
Today’s actions follow a recent increase in militant attacks in Bahrain, where Iran has provided weapons, funding, and training to militants. This marks yet another step in our continued effort to aggressively target Iran’s destabilizing and terrorism-related activities in the region. We will continue to stand with Bahrain in addressing these threats, even as we encourage the government to clearly differentiate its response to violent militia groups from its engagement with peaceful political opposition.
Alawi is affiliated with the Bahrain-based al-Ashtar Brigades (AAB). Yusuf is an Iran-based AAB senior member. AAB receives funding and support from the Government of Iran – a state sponsor of terrorism. AAB has claimed responsibility for numerous terrorist attacks – some of which have resulted in casualties – mainly against police and security targets in Bahrain. In March 2014, AAB conducted a bomb attack that killed two local police officers and an officer from the United Arab Emirates. AAB targets the security services of Gulf countries, such as Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.
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 assist and complement law enforcement actions of other U.S. agencies and other governments to counter terrorist groups and individuals.
Commenting on the U.S. State Department’s designation of two foreign mercenaries of the clerical regime as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGT), Shahin Gobdi, a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, said, “This is a positive step in confronting the terrorism emanating from the Iranian regime, the leading state sponsor of terrorism in the world today. Designating the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) is the necessary and the most effective step to confront the Iranian regime’s terrorism and malign activities which threaten regional stability and beyond.”