U.S. lists al-Qaeda in Arabian Peninsula terrorist group
U.S. State Department on Tuesday designated al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) as a foreign terrorist group, offering legitimacy for the administration in taking financial and judicial actions on the group, Xinhua reported.
The designation was made by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton after consultation with the Attorney General Eric Holder and the Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner, said State Department spokesman Philip Crowley in a statement.
Two top AQAP leaders, Nasir al-Wahishi and Said al-Shihri, also are designated.
AQAP, a Yemen-based terrorist organization, was accused by the United States for masterminding numerous terrorist acts against Saudi, South Korean, Yemeni, and U.S. targets since its inception in January 2009, including the failed attack on a Northwest Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Detroit on December 25, 2009.
"These actions prohibit provision of material support and arms to AQAP and also include immigration related estrictions that will help stem the flow of finances to AQAP and give the Department of Justice the tools it needs to prosecute AQAP members, " said Crowley.
According to the spokesman, the designations represent just one phase of the administration's response to the threat posed by AQAP and its senior leaders, the United States has been trying to make all UN member states to take similar actions, including asset freeze, travel ban, and arms embargo.
"We are determined to eliminate AQAP's ability to execute violent attacks and to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat their networks," said the spokesman.