State Department Terrorist Designation of Ashraf al-Qizani

The Department of State has designated Ashraf al-Qizani as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) under section 1(a)(ii)(B) of Executive Order (E.O.) 13224.

Ashraf al-Qizani, also known as Abu ‘Ubaydah al-Kafi, serves as the emir of Jund al-Khilafah in Tunisia (JAK-T), an ISIS affiliate in Tunisia.  Al-Qizani became the emir of JAK-T after the death of former JAK-T emir Yunus Abu-Muslim in 2019.  Under al-Qizani’s leadership, JAK-T has carried out numerous attacks in Tunisia.  Prior to his appointment as leader of JAK-T, al-Qizani had previously been a member of the Shura Council and served as a sergeant for each of the three companies in JAK-T.

The Department of State designated JAK-T as an SDGT under E.O. 13224 on February 27, 2018.  The group emerged in Tunisia in early 2014.  By December 2014, JAK-T had pledged allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and, in November 2019, reaffirmed its affiliation with ISIS when it recognized new ISIS leader Amir Muhammad Sa’id Abdal-Rahman al-Mawla.  The group has carried out several attacks in Tunisia, including a September 2020 knife attack that killed one National Guard officer and wounded another, as well as January and March 2020 improvised explosive device attacks targeting Tunisian military vehicles.

Today’s designation notifies the U.S. public and the international community that Ashraf al-Qizani is the leader of a terrorist group.  Terrorist designations expose and isolate entities and individuals and deny them access to the U.S. financial system.  Moreover, designations can assist the law enforcement activities of U.S. agencies and other governments.