WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. State Department on Monday named the Muhammad Jamal Network and its founder, Egyptian Muhammad Jamal, as "specially designated global terrorists," a status that freezes any assets they have under U.S. jurisdiction.
In a statement, the department said Jamal trained with al Qaeda and learned how to build bombs in Afghanistan in the 1980s and returned to Egypt in the 1990s, becoming head of the operational wing of Egyptian Islamic Jihad, then led by Ayman al-Zawahiri, who is the current leader of al Qaeda.
Since his release from an Egyptian prison in 2011, it said Jamal had set up terrorist training camps in both Egypt and Libya to train suicide bombers and established links with terrorists in Europe.
The department said Jamal has also developed connections with al Qaeda's leadership and with al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, two of the group's most active affiliates.
As a result of being named a "specially designated global terrorist," assets belonging to Jamal or his group that come under U.S. jurisdiction are frozen. In addition, U.S. citizens and firms are barred from any dealings with those designated.
(Reporting by Arshad Mohammed; Editing by Vicki Allen)