US designates leading French jihadist as terrorist

US designates leading French jihadist as terrorist

The United States’ State Department on Friday said it has designated Omar Diaby, a leading French jihadist as terrorist.

As a result of the move, all property subject to US jurisdiction in which Diaby had any interest have been blocked and US persons generally prohibited from engaging in any transactions with him.

In a statement, the State Department said that Diaby leads a group of French foreign terrorist fighters in Syria.

The group of approximately 50 fighters had participated in terrorist operations alongside the terrorist group al-Nusrah Front.

According to French media reports, Diaby, who is of Senegalese origin, left for Syria in the summer of 2013, setting up a unit of French fighters linked to al-Nusra Front.

Although assumed killed in August 2015, Diaby, re-emerged in May this year, claiming his death was a ploy to allow him to travel to Turkey for an operation.

According to the State Department, Diaby came to the attention of French intelligence due to his involvement with a French extremist group and his online propaganda video series.

“Diaby’s videos have been credited as the chief reason behind why so many French nationals have joined militant groups in Syria and Iraq,’’ it added.

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