Terrorist Designation of Aliaskhab Kebekov (March 25)

The Department of State has designated Russian citizen Aliaskhab Kebekov as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist under Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, which targets terrorists and those providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism.  As a result of the designation, all property subject to U.S. jurisdiction in which Kebekov has any interest is blocked, and U.S. persons are prohibited from engaging in transactions with him or to his benefit.

Kebekov is also listed by the United Nations 1267/1989 al-Qa’ida Sanctions Committee.  The UN listing requires all member states to implement an assets freeze, a travel ban, and an arms embargo against Kebekov.  The UN action demonstrates international resolve in eliminating Kebekov’s violent activities, which are concentrated in the North Caucasus region of Russia.

Aliaskhab Kebekov is the current leader of the Caucasus Emirate, a Specially Designated Global Terrorist entity operating primarily in the Russian North Caucasus.  He became head of the group following the death of its former leader, Doku Umarov.  In the summer of 2014, Kebekov issued a video statement proclaiming the Caucasus Emirate’s “structural subordination” to al-Qa’ida and noted his group’s readiness to execute orders and instructions from al-Qa’ida’s leaders.  In late December 2014, Kebekov praised the killing of 14 Chechen law enforcement officers by militants who claimed allegiance to him and the Caucasus Emirate.  In 2013, Caucasus regional police sources reported that Kebekov ordered the killing of Sheikh Said-Afandi Chirkeyskiy, a prominent moderate religious leader in the Republic of Dagestan, also in the North Caucasus region of Russia, who was ideologically opposed to the Caucasus Emirate.