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State Department revokes 5 FTO designations – and explains why, and OFAC’s actions as well

Revocation of Five Foreign Terrorist Organizations Designations and the Delisting of Six Deceased Individuals as Specially Designated Global Terrorists



MAY 20, 2022

Today, the Department of State is announcing the revocation of five Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) designations under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA): Basque Fatherland and Liberty, Aum Shinrikyo, Mujahidin Shura Council in the Environs of Jerusalem, Kahane Chai, and Gama’a al-Islamiyya.  All five organizations will remain designated as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGT) entities under Executive Order 13224.  The Department is retaining these SDGT designations for a number of reasons, including to support law enforcement actions or ensure frozen assets are not released to still active individual terrorists.

In addition to these five FTO revocations, the Department of State is also announcing the revocation of six now deceased individuals as SDGTs designated under Executive Order 13224: Abu al-Wardah, Mohad Moalim, Farah Mohamed Shirdon, Musa Abu Dawud, Aliaskhab Kebekov, and Ibrahim al-Rubaysh.

As required by the INA, the Department reviews FTO designations every five years to determine if the circumstances that were the basis of the designation have changed in such a manner as to warrant a revocation.  Our review of these five FTO designations determined that, as defined by the INA, the five organizations are no longer engaged in terrorism or terrorist activity and do not retain the capability and intent to do so.  Therefore, as required by the INA, these FTO designations are being revoked.

These actions are intended to reflect the United States’ resolve to comply with legal requirements to review and revoke FTO designations when the facts compel such action.  These revocations do not seek to overlook or excuse the terrorist acts each of these groups previously engaged in or the harm the organizations caused its victims, but rather recognize the success Egypt, Israel, Japan, and Spain have had in defusing the threat of terrorism by these groups.  Revoking FTO designations and the delisting of deceased individuals ensures our terrorism sanctions remain current and credible and does not reflect any change in policy towards the past activities of any of these terrorists or of the organizations in which they were members.

The United States remains committed to combating the activities of terrorists worldwide.

Note: Good explanations:

  • OFAC listings are not automatically removed when a group dissolves, or a person dies – because they want to ensure that any assets that may be in their name don’t end up in the wrong hands.
  • FTOs are only reviewed every 5 years, but at least there is a process. No one expects an FTO to “go good”, but removing parties which are no longer credible threats reinforces the credibility of the program as a whole.


State Department Press Release

Categories: Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO) Immigration and Nationality Act OFAC Updates Sanctions Lists State Department Updates Terrorism


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