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Homeland Security

Terrorist Designation of Ali Maychou

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
July 16, 2019

The U.S. Department of State (DOS), in concert with the U.S. Department of Treasury, took action today targeting Jama'at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin (JNIM), a West-African terrorist group designated as both a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) and as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) in September 2018. Specifically, DOS designated Ali Maychou, who holds a leadership role in JNIM, as a SDGT pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, which imposes sanctions on foreign persons determined to 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 action, all property subject to U.S. jurisdiction in which Maychou has any interest is blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in any transactions with Maychou.

Maychou has served in a leadership role in JNIM since its inception in 2017; has previously claimed responsibility for an attack on a military camp that housed Malian Armed Forces in Gao, Mali, that killed dozens; and has had a role in operational activities of JNIM. Today's designation seeks to deny Maychou the resources to plan and carry out terrorist attacks.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury today also designated Bah Ag Moussa for acting for or on behalf of JNIM. These actions further efforts to counter JNIM's growth in Mali.

JNIM was formed in March 2017 and is led by Iyad Ag Ghaly, a U.S.-designated SDGT. JNIM self-proclaimed to be al-Qa'ida's official branch in Mali and has claimed responsibility for numerous attacks and kidnappings since March 2017. JNIM has claimed responsibility for the June 2017 attack at a resort frequented by Westerners outside of Bamako, Mali; several deadly attacks on Malian troops; and the large scale coordinated attacks in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso on March 2, 2018.

Today's designation notifies the U.S. public and the international community that Maychou is a Specially Designated Global Terrorist. 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.

A list of State Department-designated FTOs and SDGTs is available here:

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