The State Department officially declared ISIS branches in Libya, Saudi Arabia and Yemen foreign terrorist organizations Thursday.
"The Department of State has announced the designation of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’s (ISIL’s) branch in Libya (ISIL-Libya) as a Foreign Terrorist Organization under section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Today, the Department is also simultaneously designating ISIL-Libya, along with the ISIL branches in Yemen and Saudi Arabia, as Specially Designated Global Terrorists under Section 1(b) of Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, which imposes sanctions and penalties on foreign persons that have committed, or pose a serious risk of committing, acts of terrorism that threaten the security of U.S. nationals or the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the United States," the State Department released Thursday. "The consequences of the FTO and E.O. 13224 designations include a prohibition against knowingly providing, or attempting or conspiring to provide, material support or resources to, or engaging in transactions with, these organizations, and the freezing of all property and interests in property of these organizations that is in the United States, or come within the United States or the control of U.S. persons. The Department of State took these actions in consultation with the Departments of Justice and the Treasury."
This move comes more than a year after ISIS fighters marched 30 Christians to a Libyan beach and beheaded them. As the State Department admits, ISIS branches in Libya, Saudi Arabia and Yemen became part of the terror network in November 2014, but are just now being officially declared under U.S. law and policy.
"ISIL-Yemen, ISIL-Saudi Arabia, and ISIL-Libya all emerged as official ISIL branches in November 2014 when U.S. Department of State-designated Specially Designated Global Terrorist and ISIL leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi announced that he had accepted the oaths of allegiance from fighters in Yemen, Saudi Arabia, and Libya, and was thereby creating ISIL “branches” in those countries," the State Department added.
Eight ISIS branches around the world have officially been sanctioned by the State Department in an effort to stop funds and fighters from entering into the terrorist organization. Last month, Secretary of State John Kerry declared ISIS is committing genocide against Christians and other minority groups in the Middle East and Libya.