US Government Press Release
Friday July 20, 2018
The Department of State has amended the designation of al-Shabaab –
an al-Qa’ida affiliate in Somalia – to include al-Hijra and other
These aliases have been added to al-Shabaab’s
designations as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) under Section 219
of the Immigration and Nationality Act, and as a Specially Designated
Global Terrorist (SDGT) under section 1(b) of Executive Order 13224.
Additionally, the Department of State also completed al-Shabaab’s
legally required five-year FTO review and determined that the
designation would be maintained.It has openly engaged in
al-Shabaab recruiting in Kenya and facilitated travel of al-Shabaab
members to Somalia for terrorism purposes.
Al-Hijra, formed in 2008 in
Nairobi, Kenya serves as a wing of al-Shabaab. Al-Hijra, which is
extensively interconnected with al-Shabaab both organizationally and
operationally, consists primarily of Kenyan and Somali followers of
al-Shabaab in East Africa.
Since al-Shabaab’s initial 2008 FTO designation, it has killed numerous civilians throughout East Africa.
Shabaab’s attacks included the October 2017 attack in Mogadishu where
the group detonated a truck bomb that killed over 500 people, the
September 2013 Westgate Mall attack in Kenya that killed more than 70
people, and the July 2010 suicide bombings in Kampala, Uganda that took
place during the World Cup and killed 76 people, including one U.S.
Today’s actions notify the U.S. public and the
international community that al-Hijra is an alias of al-Shabaab.
Terrorism designations expose and isolate organizations and individuals,
and deny them access to the U.S. financial system. Moreover,
designations can assist the law enforcement activities of U.S. agencies
and other governments.