Soldiers from the Philippine Marine Battalion Landing Team (MBLT) and Marine Special Operation Group (MARSOG) gather their belongings after their send-off ceremony from their combat duty against pro-Islamic State (IS) militants in Marawi City, the Philippines, Oct. 21, 2017. (Xinhua/Rouelle Umali)
WASHINGTON, Feb. 27 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. State Department on Tuesday said it has designated seven Islamic State (IS)-affiliated groups and two leaders as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs).
Three of the seven groups, namely the IS-West Africa, IS-Philippines and IS-Bangladesh, were also designated as Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs). U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them, and their property and interests in property subject to U.S. jurisdiction are blocked.
In addition, it is a crime to knowingly provide, or attempt or conspire to provide, material support or resources to these organizations.
A soldier arranges the confiscated weapons used by pro-Islamic State militant groups at the Fort Bonifacio in Taguig City, the Philippines, Dec. 13, 2017. Hundreds of weapons from pro-Islamic State militant groups were gathered and destroyed by the government. (Xinhua/Rouelle Umali)
The other four groups designated as SDGTs were IS-Somalia, Jund al-Khilafah-Tunisia, IS-Egypt, and the Maute Group, and the individuals are Mahad Moalim and Abu Musab al-Barnawi.
Among other consequences, all property and interests in property of the SDGT designees are blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in any transactions with them.
In announcing these designations, U.S. Coordinator for Counterterrorism Nathan A. Sales emphasized that "these designations target key ISIS-affiliated groups and leaders outside its fallen caliphate in Iraq and Syria. Today's actions are a critical step in degrading ISIS's global network and denying its affiliates the resources they need to plan and carry out terrorist attacks."
Iraqi armored vehicles take part in a parade in Mosul, Iraq on Dec. 14, 2017. Ninevah Operation Command of the Iraqi military paraded in Mosul to celebrate the full liberation of Iraqi lands of the Islamic State(IS) group. (Xinhua/Khalil Dawood)
The State Department also said that the latest designations aim to notify the U.S. public and the international community that these groups and individuals have committed or pose a significant risk of committing acts of terrorism.
"Terrorist designations expose and isolate entities 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," it added.
These designations were also part of a larger comprehensive plan of the United States to defeat IS in coordination with the Global Coalition.
In addition to designating IS as a FTO and a SDGT, the Department of State has also designated over 40 IS leaders and operatives so far.
U.S. State Department Monday said the United States will host an international conference on mobilizing law enforcement efforts to defeat the Islamic State (IS) on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Participants of the two-day conference are expected to seek to establish a common understanding of "the depth and breadth" of the evolving IS global threat. It will also discuss how to enhance law enforcement and other civilian tools to counter IS.
In addition, the conference will also identify specific actions to help countries disrupt potential attacks, according to the State Department.
The agency said that although the IS has lost nearly all of its former territory in Iraq and Syria, the international community cannot underestimate the evolving threat IS networks and local adherents pose elsewhere.