United States designates Al-Shabab leaders

Media Note

Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
April 21, 2015

The U.S. Department of State has designated Ahmed Diriye and Mahad Karate under Executive Order 13224, which targets terrorists and those providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism. As a result of this designation, all property subject to U.S. jurisdiction in which Diriye or Karate has any interest is blocked and any assets they may have under U.S. jurisdiction are frozen. U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in any transactions with Diriye or Karate, or to their benefit.

Ahmed Diriye became the leader of al-Shabaab following the death of the group’s former leader, Ahmed Abdi Godane, in September 2014. Prior to replacing Godane, Diriye served in several positions within al-Shabaab, including as Godane’s assistant, the deputy governor of Lower Juba region in 2008, and al-Shabaab’s governor of Bay and Bakool regions in 2009. By 2013, he was a senior adviser to Godane, and served in al-Shabaab’s “Interior Department,” where he oversaw the group’s domestic activity. He shares Godane’s vision for al-Shabaab’s terrorist attacks in Somalia as an element of al-Qa’ida’s greater global aspirations.

Mahad Karate, also known as Abdirahim Mohamed Warsame, played a key role in the Amniyat, the wing of al-Shabaab responsible for the recent attack on Garissa University College in Kenya that resulted in nearly 150 deaths. The Amniyat is al-Shabaab’s intelligence wing, which plays a key role in the execution of suicide attacks and assassinations in Somalia, Kenya, and other countries in the region, and provides logistics and support for al-Shabaab’s terrorist activities.

Al-Shabaab was designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization and a Specially Designated Global Terrorist by the U.S. Department of State on March 18, 2008. The group is responsible for numerous terrorist activities, including several mass-casualty attacks on civilians, like the 2010 Kampala bombing attacks in Uganda, the 2013 Westgate attack in Nairobi, and the recent massacre at Garissa University College in Kenya, which resulted in the deaths of 148 individuals, mostly students.

The Department of State took this action in consultation with the Departments of Justice and Treasury.

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