(Source: Council of the EU and European Council)
The Council today decided to add one group and two persons to the list of those subject to restrictive measures against ISIL/Da’esh and Al-Qaeda and persons, groups, undertakings and entities associated with them.
The measures target Hurras al-Din, a Syria-based al-Qaeda affiliated group, its leader Faruq al-Suri, and its religious leader Sami al-Aridi.
Hurras al-Din operates in the name and under the umbrella of Al-Qaeda, and has been involved in the planning of external terrorist operations. To achieve its objectives, the group has established operational camps in Syria that provide terrorist training to its members. Several European foreign terrorist fighters have joined the group’s ranks since its creation.
Through propaganda activities, the sanctioned group and individuals have also played a key role in promoting Al-Qaeda’s violent jihadist ideology and in inciting terrorist acts in support of Al-Qaeda. Hurras al-Din and its two leaders therefore pose a serious and continued threat to the EU and to regional and international stability.
With these new measures, a total of ten persons will now be subject to a travel ban and an asset freeze, and three groups to an asset freeze. In addition, EU persons and entities will be forbidden from making funds or economic resources available to listed persons and groups.
Today’s decision confirms the EU’s unwavering resolve to combat the enduring terrorist threat posed by Al-Qaeda, ISIL/Da’esh, and all their regional affiliates. The EU remains committed to taking decisive action against those who continue to threaten international peace and security by planning, financing and committing terrorist attacks, and by spreading their deadly terrorist propaganda around the world.
Background and next steps
As from September 2016, the EU can apply sanctions autonomously to ISIL/Da’esh and al-Qaeda and persons and entities associated or supporting them. Until then, sanctions could only be applied to persons and entities listed by the UN (ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions List) or by the EU countries acting individually.
The relevant legal acts, including the names of the persons and entity included, have been published in the Official Journal.