May 31, 2018
The Department of State has amended the designation of al-Nusrah Front – an al-Qa’ida affiliate in Syria – to include Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and other aliases. These aliases have been added to al-Nusrah Front’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 Executive Order 13224.
In January 2017, al-Nusrah Front launched the creation of HTS as a vehicle to advance its position in the Syrian uprising and to further its own goals as an al-Qa’ida affiliate. Since January 2017, the group has continued to operate through HTS in pursuit of these objectives.
The Coordinator for Counterterrorism, Ambassador Nathan A. Sales, noted that “today’s designation serves notice that the United States is not fooled by this al-Qa’ida affiliate’s attempt to rebrand itself. Whatever name Nusrah chooses, we will continue to deny it the resources it seeks to further its violent cause.”
Today’s actions notify the U.S. public and the international community that HTS is an alias of al-Nusrah Front. 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.
A list of State Department-designated FTOs and SDGTs is available here: https://www.state.gov/j/ct/rls/other/des/index.htm.