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    Al-Shabaab fighters display weapons as they conduct military exercises in northern Mogadishu, Somalia

    US State Department Designates Al-Shabaab Leaders as Terrorists

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    The US Department of State designated Ahmed Diriye and Mahad Karate, the leaders of the militant Somalia-based Islamic group al-Shabaab, as terrorists.


    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The leaders of the militant Somalia-based Islamic group al-Shabaab, Ahmed Diriye and Mahad Karate, have been designated as terrorists, the US Department of State announced on Tuesday.

    “The US Department of State has designated Ahmed Diriye and Mahad Karate under Executive Order 13224, which targets terrorists and those providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism,” the State Department said on Tuesday.

    Diriye has headed al-Shabaab since the death of the group’s former leader Ahmed Godane in September 2014. Diriye previously served as assistant to Godane and was Deputy Governor of the Somalia’s Lower Juba region in 2008.

    Karate has been best associated with the al-Shabaab intelligence wing Amniyat, which was responsible for the recent terrorist attacks at Kenya’s Garissa University College that resulted in the death of 150 people.

    On March 18, 2008, the State Department labeled al-Shabaab as a Foreign Terrorist Organization and a Specially Designated Global Terrorist.

    Al-Shabaab is alleged to have been responsible for numerous terrorist attacks including the 2010 Kampala bombing in Uganda and the 2013 Westgate attack in Nairobi, Kenya.

    Al-Shabaab has pledged allegiance to militant Islamic organization al-Qaeda since 2012, and its troop strength has been estimated between 7,000 to 9,000 fighters, according to media reports.


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