Photo Credit: Official White House photographer Dan Scavino Jr
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (archive)

The US State Department on Tuesday designated the Saraya al-Mukhtar group as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist organization in accordance with Executive Order 13224 “for posing a significant risk of committing acts of terrorism that threaten the national security and foreign policy of the United States.”

In a statement posted to the State Department website, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the group, an Iran-backed terrorist organization based in Bahrain, is reportedly receiving financial and logistic support from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

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Pompeo said the designation of the Saraya al-Mukhtar as a global terrorist organization sends a strong message to the Iranian regime “that we will not allow its terrorist proxies to threaten the people of Bahrain and the US personnel stationed there.”

“Saraya al-Mukhtar’s self-described goal is to depose the Bahraini government with the intention of paving the way for Iran to exert greater influence in Bahrain. The group has plotted attacks against US personnel in Bahrain and has offered cash rewards for the assassination of Bahraini officials.

“This designation seeks to deny Saraya al-Mukhtar the resources to commit acts of terrorism,” Pompeo said.

Among other consequences, all of the group’s property and interests in property 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, are blocked. US persons are generally prohibited from engaging in any transactions with it.

The designation notifies the US public and the international community that Saraya al-Mukhtar poses “a significant risk of committing acts of terrorism,” he said.

Designations of terrorist organizations expose and isolate them and deny them access to the US financial system.

“Moreover, designations can assist the law enforcement actions of other US agencies and governments,” Pompeo added.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.