U.S. designates a German citizen as a 'global terrorist'

Reuters News
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Posted: Dec 09, 2015 11:49 AM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. State Department on Wednesday named Emrah Erdogan, a German citizen whom it said had joined and fought with the al Qaeda and al Shabaab militant groups, as a global terrorist.

The designation generally bars Americans from dealing with him and freezes any of his assets under U.S. jurisdiction.

Erdogan is serving a seven-year prison term in Germany for joining militant groups in Pakistan and Somalia and for phoning in a false threat of attacks in Pakistan and Germany in November 2010, the U.S. State Department said in a statement.

He is not related to Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, said a U.S. official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Emrah Erdogan was named as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist, which the department said imposes sanctions on foreign persons who have committed, or pose a serious risk of committing, acts of terrorism that threaten the United States.

"Erdogan – a German national born in Turkey – recruited foreign terrorist fighters, participated in fighting, and raised funds for both groups," the department said, referring to the Islamist militant groups al Qaeda and al Shabaab.

Al Shabaab, which was forced out of the Somali capital Mogadishu in 2011, seeks to overthrow the Western-backed government and to impose its strict version of Islamic law in the Horn of Africa country. Al Qaeda is blamed for the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington.

The State Department said Erdogan trained with al Shabaab and carried out attacks in Kenya and Uganda before being caught in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and extradited to Germany.

(Reporting By Arshad Mohammed; Editing by Frances Kerry)