The United States welcomes the action taken by the United Nations Security Council’s 1267 al-Qa’ida and ISIL (Da’esh) Sanctions Committee on February 23 to add ISIS-West Africa (ISIS-WA) and ISIS-Greater Sahara (ISIS-GS) to its designations list. The United States designated ISIS-WA and ISIS-GS as Foreign Terrorist Organizations under Section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act and Specially Designated Global Terrorists under Executive Order 13224 on May 23, 2018, and February 28, 2018, respectively. ISIS-GS and ISIS-WA are the second and third ISIS affiliate designated by the UN. ISIS-Khorasan was the first listed at the UN in May 2019.
ISIS-WA is responsible for killing hundreds of innocent civilians in dozens of attacks since its inception in 2015. ISIS-GS has also carried out numerous attacks since its formation in 2015, including the October 2017 attack that killed four U.S. soldiers in Niger. This UN designation obligates all member states to implement an arms embargo, a global travel ban, and asset freeze on ISIS-WA and ISIS-GS, actions that will cut the groups off from the resources they need to continue their terrorist activities.
This designation is a necessary step in the global fight to defeat ISIS. Despite the complete liberation of ISIS-held territory in Iraq and Syria, ISIS affiliates around the world remain a significant terrorist threat, including in Africa, and the international community must work together to deny them the resources they seek. The United States remains fully engaged with our African partners to address security challenges and to advance peace and security on the continent.