Washington – The US State Department announced on Thursday the designation of five foreigners as “Specially Designated Global Terrorists” for their links to the ISIS and al-Qaeda extremist groups.
A press release identified them as El Shafee Elsheikh, Anjem Choudary, Sami Bouras, Shane Dominic Crawford, and Mark John Taylor.
It described them as “foreign persons determined to have committed, or pose a significant risk of committing, acts of terrorism that threaten the security of US nationals or the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the United States.”
The State Department prohibited US nationals “from engaging in transactions or dealings” with the terrorists and froze their property and interests in the United States.
Elsheikh, 29, was born in Sudan and later obtained the British nationality. He traveled to Syria in 2012 where he joined a branch of al-Qaeda in the city of Aleppo before joining ISIS. He was a member of the ISIS “The Beatles” cell, whose members had taken the names John, Paul, George and Ringo, after the famous British band.
The cell is accused of beheading 27 hostages, including American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, and of torturing a number of others. Elsheikh is one of the most prominent members of “The Beatles” cell and is known for his vicious torture techniques.
Choudary, 50, is a British cleric living in east London with links to convicted terrorists and extremist networks in the UK, including the “Al-Muhajiroun” group. In September 2014, he was arrested for pledging allegiance to ISIS and for acting as a key figure in the group’s recruitment drive. He was sentenced to prison in September 2016. Choudary has stated that he will continue his recruitment activities from prison, said the State Department statement.
Bouras, 42, is a Swedish national of Tunisian origin. He is a member of al-Qaeda and was involved in the planning of suicide attacks.
Crawford, 31, is a resident of the island of Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean. The State Department believes he joined ISIS in Syria where he works as an English language propagandist for the group.
Taylor is a native of New Zealand who travelled to Syria’s Raqqa city in 2014 where he joined ISIS. He acted as a propagandist for the militant group through social media. He appeared in a video in 2015 where he encouraged carrying out terrorist attacks in Australia and New Zealand.