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Homeland Security

Terrorist Designation of Salah Abdeslam

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
April 5, 2016

The Department of State has designated Salah Abdeslam as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) under section 1(b) of Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, which imposes sanctions and penalties on foreign persons that have committed, or pose a serious risk of committing, acts of terrorism that threaten the security of U.S. nationals or the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the United States. As a result of this designation, all property subject to U.S. jurisdiction in which Abdeslam has any interest is blocked and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in any transactions with him.

Belgian-born French citizen Salah Abdeslam is an operative for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a U.S. Department of State designated Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) and SDGT. Abdeslam was captured on March 18, 2016 in a police raid in Molenbeek, Belgium, and charged with 'terrorist murder' for his role in the November 13, 2015 Paris attacks that killed 130 people, including an American college student, and injured over 350. Witnesses identified Abdeslam as the driver of a car full of gunmen that killed patrons at numerous restaurants in Paris. Authorities found his DNA both on a discarded suicide belt and along with traces of explosives in a Brussels apartment. Abdeslam stated after his arrest that he planned on conducting a suicide bombing outside of the Paris soccer stadium, but had 'backed out.'

Today's action further notifies the U.S. public and the international community that Abdeslam was actively engaged in terrorism. Terrorism designations is one of the ways the United States can expose and isolate organizations and individuals engaged in terrorism, impose serious sanctions on them, and enable coordinated action across the U.S. government and with our international partners to disrupt the activities of terrorists, including by denying them access to the U.S. financial system and enabling U.S. law enforcement actions.

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