US blacklists Algerian, Syrian terrorist gangs

US blacklists Algerian, Syrian terrorist gangs
Thu Dec 19, 2013 09:28:47

The United States has blacklisted a shadowy al-Qaeda breakaway faction behind the bloody siege of an Algerian gas plant, and the ringleader of an extremist group fighting for the terrorists in Syria.

The Signatories in Blood, an armed unit founded by the one-eyed Mokhtar Belmokhtar last year when he split from al-Qaeda in the so-called Islamic Maghreb, was designated a foreign terrorist organization by the US State Department on Wednesday.

The group, also known as the al-Mulathamun Battalion, “claimed responsibility for the January 2013 attack against a gas facility near In Amenas, Algeria,” the department said in a statement, adding that three Americans were among the 38 civilians killed in the siege.

In a separate move, the head of the Palestinian wing of the Syria-based al-Nusra Front, Usamah Amin al-Shihabi, was also blacklisted as a “global terrorist.”

Wednesday’s designations bar US citizens and companies from having any dealings with either the Algerian group or al-Shihabi.

The foreign-backed terrorists have attempted to sow the seed of discord and conflict in Syria for more than two years. They enjoy logistic support from the West and certain regional states such as Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar in order to destabilize Syria.


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