U.S. amends Al Qaeda in Iraq's terrorist designation
The U.S. Department of State announced on Wednesday that it has amended the foreign terrorist designation for Al Qaeda in Iraq.
The name change reflects inter-organizational dynamics between Al Qaeda senior leadership and ISIL. In early 2014, Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri released a statement that ISIL was no longer considered a part of Al Qaeda.
ISIL, the State Department noted, is now recognized by the following aliases: the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), ad-Dawla al-Islamiyya fi al-'Iraq wa-sh-Sham, Daesh, Dawla al Islamiya, and Al-Furqan Establishment for Media Production.
In addition to AQI's name change, the State Department announced it was removing "all aliases associated with al-Nusrah Front," given "an increase in violence between these two groups," and announced it has now designated ANF "as a standalone" foreign terrorist organization.
Foreign terrorist designations are authorized under Executive Order 13224 to target terrorists and supporters of terrorists or acts of terrorism.