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Hamas Commander Ghandour Designated as Global Terrorist | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Palestinian members of al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Hamas movement, take part in a military parade marking the 27th anniversary of Hamas’ founding, in Gaza City December 14, 2014. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem

Washington – The US State Department gave a “global terrorist” designation to Hamas commander Abu Anas al-Ghandour considering him a direct threat to the US and its interest, in a statement for the Department.

Under a 2001 executive order that imposes sanctions on foreigners who have committed or posed a significant risk of committing terrorist attacks, the US and its citizens will generally not be allowed to conduct business with Ghandour – also all assets he have in the US were frozen.

Ghandour leads a Gaza brigade for Hamas, which the US considers a terrorist organization, according to the US State Department. He played a role in the kidnapping of Shalit at an Israeli border crossing, were two Israeli soldiers were killed and four were wounded.

A report prepared by the US House of Representative Committee on Homeland Security revealed that extremists have increased their targeting of airports for the sake of spreading dismay in the US – it added that up to 245 terrorist attacks took place in the US since September 2001 attacks and 36 others were discovered in 2016.

Senator Michael McColl, Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, stressed that efforts should be intensified to deprive these terrorists from their safe havens abroad and to face extremism strictly inside the US.

Former CIA Acting Director Michael Morell expected an increase in threats at airports and urged the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to remain alert in the current time.

Senior US security officials said that the US is facing a huge increase in the number of those wishing to join ISIS on its territories and that the security bodies have acted against “dozens of them” in 2016.

At that time, FBI Director James Comey said that among those wishing to join ISIS there are dozens of youths. He added that determining those who are interested in ISIS slogans through websites is “a challenge similar to searching for a needle in a haystack.”

Prior to 2016 Independence Day celebrations, US security officers warned of expected terrorist attacks, namely in New York. William Bratton, the commissioner of the New York Police Department, also declared that the number of attacks are more likely rise.