The United States has named Amir Muhammad Sa’id Abdal-Rahman al-Mawla, the new leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist.
Secretary of State, Michael Pompeo, announced this at a news briefing in Washington on Tuesday.
Pompeo said al-Mawla succeeded ISIS former leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who was killed by US special forces in northwest Syria in October.
In a statement following the briefing, the Department of State said Al-Mawla was “active in ISIS’ predecessor organisation, al-Qai’da in Iraq, and steadily rose through the ranks to become the Deputy Amir”.
The statement said: “Al-Mawla helped drive and attempt to justify the abduction, slaughter and trafficking of Yazidi religious minorities in northwest Iraq, and oversees the group’s global operations.
“As a result of this designation, U.S. persons will be generally prohibited from engaging in any transactions with al-Mawla.
“His property and interests in property subject to U.S. jurisdiction will be blocked.”
The department warned against provision of material support or resources to ISIS, adding that any deliberate attempt to do so would amount to a crime.
It said: “Today’s announcement is part of a larger comprehensive effort to defeat ISIS that, in coordination with the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, has made significant progress.
“We have completely destroyed ISIS’ so-called ‘caliphate’ in Iraq and Syria, and we are taking the fight to its branches and networks around the world.
“This whole-of-government effort is destroying ISIS in its safe havens, denying its ability to recruit foreign terrorist fighters and stifling its financial resources.
“We are countering the group’s false propaganda it disseminates over the internet and social media, and helping to stabilise liberated areas in Iraq and Syria so the displaced can return to their homes and begin to rebuild their lives.”