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Homeland Security

U.S. Department of State Terrorist Designation of Amadou Kouffa

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
November 7, 2019

The Department of State has designated Amadou Kouffa as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) under Executive Order 13224, which imposes sanctions on foreign persons who have committed, or pose a significant risk of committing, acts of terrorism. Today's designation seeks to deny Kouffa the resources to plan and carry out terrorist attacks. Among other consequences, all of his property and interests that are in the United States, that hereafter come within the United States, or hereafter come within the possession or control of U.S. persons, have been blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in any transactions with him.

Amadou Kouffa is a senior member in Jama'at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin (JNIM), an al-Qa'ida affiliate active in the Sahel region of Africa, which the Department of State designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization and SDGT in September 2018. JNIM was formed in March 2017 and is led by Iyad ag Ghali, a designated SDGT.

JNIM has claimed responsibility for numerous attacks and kidnappings since March 2017, killing more than 500 civilians. These include 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. Earlier this year, Kouffa led an attack against the Malian army in which more than 20 soldiers were killed.

Today's designation notifies the U.S. public and the international community that Amadou Kouffa has committed, or poses a significant risk of committing, acts of terrorism. Designations of terrorist individuals and groups expose and isolate them, and deny them access to the U.S. financial system. Moreover, designations can assist the law enforcement actions of other U.S. agencies and governments.

A list of State Department-designated FTOs and SDGTs is available here: https://www.state.gov/terrorist-designations-and-state-sponsors-of-terrorism/

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