Mali's GSIM added to US 'foreign terrorist' list

The United States on Wednesday added the Group to Support Islam and Muslims (GSIM), a fusion of three Malian jihadist groups allied to al-Qaeda, to its list of "foreign terrorist organisations."

The move is aimed at denying GSIM the "resources to plan and carry out terrorist attacks," the State Department said in a statement.

It said any property owned by GSIM in the US would be blocked and that US citizens are prohibited from dealing with the group.

The State Department said GSIM has described itself as al-Qaeda's official branch in Mali.

It added the group has claimed responsibility for a series of attacks since it was formed in March 2017, including those on March 2 in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

"Al-Qaeda and its affiliates like (GSIM) remain deadly threats to the United States and our allies," said ambassador Nathan Sales, the State Department's coordinator for counterterrorism.

"These designations are part of our continuing efforts to squeeze al-Qaeda's finances, denying it the resources it needs to carry out attacks."

The group's leader, Malian jihadist Iyad Ag Ghaly, has already been named a "global terrorist" by the US.

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