McCaul Releases March Terror Threat Snapshot
Washington, D.C. – House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX) today released March’s Terror Threat Snapshot, a monthly assessment of the Committee’s continuing effort to highlight the growing threat America, the West, and the world face from ISIS and other Islamist terrorists.
Chairman McCaul: “ISIS remains a dynamic and continuing threat to the West and the homeland. The recent State Department terrorist designations of several ISIS-affiliated groups and key leaders from around the world will help degrade ISIS’ global network by denying them the resources to spread hatred and terror. We must redouble our efforts to deny terrorist entry into America by better working with our allies and ensuring our vetting efforts are as streamlined and effective as possible.”
- The U.S. Department of State designated seven ISIS-affiliated groups as Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO) and two ISIS-affiliated individuals as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGT). The groups are ISIS-West Africa, ISIS-Philippines, ISIS-Bangladesh, ISIS-Somalia, ISIS-Egypt, Jund al-Khilafah-Tunisia, and the Maute Group. The individuals are Mahad Moalim and Abu Musab al-Barnawi. The designation as a SDGT and FTO prohibits U.S. persons from engaging in transactions with them, and their assets subject to U.S. jurisdiction were blocked and seized. Assisting them with any material support is now criminal as well.
- In a continuing effort to cut off terrorist financing opportunities, the U.S. Department of the Treasury imposed sanctions on six people and seven entities responsible for funding Hezbollah. Most of them are tied to Adham Tabaj, one of the terrorist group’s top financiers, and his company Al-Inmaa Engineering and Contracting. The firms are located in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Lebanon, and Ghana.
- As ISIS loses its geographic presence, fighters continue to return to their home countries. Russia had the highest number of fighters go to Syria and Iraq with an estimated 3,417, and 400 have returned. Saudi Arabia was next with roughly 3,244, of which 760 have returned. Jordan was third with approximately 3,000, of which 250 have returned. Tunisia followed with 2,926, of which 800 have returned. France was fifth with 1,910, of which 271 have returned, according to a report from The Soufan Center.
- Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh, the last two of the notorious ISIS group referred to as “The Beatles” were captured by Syrian Kurd forces in eastern Syria. The group was responsible for several high-profile executions, including Alan Henning, James Foley, Steven Sotloff. Mohammed Emwazi, aka Jihadi John, was killed in a U.S. airstrike in Raqqa. The fourth member, Aine Lesley Davis, was arrested in Turkey, and is currently imprisoned.