State Department Terrorist Designation of Ahmad al-Hamidawi


Office of the Spokesperson

The Department of State has designated Ahmad al-Hamidawi as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) pursuant to Executive Order 13224.  Today’s designation seeks to deny Hamidawi 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.


Ahmad al-Hamidawi is the Secretary General of Kata’ib Hizballah (KH), an Iran-backed terrorist group active in Iraq and Syria, which the Department of State designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization and SDGT in July 2009.  KH has claimed responsibility for numerous terrorist attacks against U.S. and Coalition Forces in Iraq, including IED attacks, rocket-propelled grenade attacks, and sniper operations.  Most recently, on December 27, 2019, KH launched a rocket attack against an Iraqi military base near Kirkuk, killing Nawres Hamid, an American civilian contractor, and injuring four U.S. service members and two members of the Iraqi Security Forces.  In addition, in October 2019, KH was reportedly involved in sniper attacks on peaceful protesters in Baghdad, which killed more than 100 people and injured another 6,000.


This designation was enabled by President Trump’s amendment of Executive Order 13224, which was the most significant expansion of federal terrorist designation authorities since 9/11.  The amendment empowers the State Department to directly designate leaders of terrorist groups, such as al-Hamidawi, without having to tie them to specific acts.


Today’s designation notifies the U.S. public and the international community that Ahmad al-Hamidawi 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.