Today the United States is designating Abd al-Aziz Malluh Mirjirash al-Muhammadawi – also known as Abu Fadak – as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) pursuant to Executive Order 13224.
Muhammadawi is the former secretary general of Kata’ib Hizballah (KH), a U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization and SDGT. KH, established in 2006, is an Iran-backed terrorist organization that seeks to advance Iran’s malign agenda in the region and has claimed responsibility for numerous terrorist attacks in Iraq, including improvised explosive device attacks, indirect fire attacks, rocket-propelled grenade attacks, and sniper operations. In addition, KH has reportedly been involved in recent and widespread theft of Iraqi state resources and the killing, abduction, and torture of peaceful protesters and activists in Iraq.
Muhammadawi is separately working in conjunction with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps – Qods Force to reshape official Iraqi state security institutions away from their true purpose of defending the Iraqi state and fighting ISIS, to instead support Iran’s malign activities, including the defense of the Assad regime in Syria. Iran-backed elements, including those in which Muhammadawi now plays a leadership role, have previously been involved in sectarian violence, including the abductions of hundreds of men from areas liberated from ISIS control. These individuals remain missing to this day. Additionally, groups with which Muhammadawi is affiliated have established fictitious cover names to hide their culpability for ongoing attacks against Iraqi government facilities and foreign diplomatic facilities.
Today’s designation seeks to deny Muhammadawi 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.
This designation also notifies the U.S. public and the international community that Muhammadawi poses a significant risk of committing acts of terrorism. Designations of terrorist individuals and groups expose and isolate them and limit their access to the U.S. financial system. Moreover, designations can assist the law enforcement actions of other U.S. agencies and foreign governments.