US names head of Jund al-Khilafah in Tunisia as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist
The Department of State has named Ashraf al-Qizani who serves as the emir of Jund al-Khilafah in Tunisia, an ISIS affiliate, as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT).
Ashraf al-Qizani, also known as Abu ‘Ubaydah al-Kafi, became the emir of Jund al-Khilafah in Tunisia (JAK-T) after the death of former JAK-T emir Yunus Abu-Muslim in 2019, the State Department said Friday in a press release.
Under al-Qizani’s leadership, JAK-T has carried out numerous attacks in Tunisia. Prior to his appointment as leader of JAK-T, al-Qizani had previously been a member of the Shura Council and served as a sergeant for each of the three companies in JAK-T, the press release said.
The group emerged in Tunisia in early 2014. By December 2014, JAK-T had pledged allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and, in November 2019, reaffirmed its affiliation with ISIS when it recognized the new ISIS leader. The group has carried out several attacks in Tunisia, including a September 2020 knife attack that killed one National Guard officer and wounded another, as well as January and March 2020 improvised explosive device attacks targeting Tunisian military vehicles, the State Department recalled.
Designation as Global Terrorist by the US State Department exposes and isolates entities and people and deny them entry to the US monetary system.
Tunisia has been targeted by numerous terror assaults, the most critical having occurred in 2015, when the terrorists attacked the Bardo Museum in capital Tunis and seaside resorts in Soussa, killing scores of foreign holiday-makers. The attacks were claimed by ISIS.