US blacklists 3 ISIS-K leaders as global terrorists

The US designated three leaders of Daesh/ISIS' Afghanistan affiliate as global terrorists on Monday, including its leader Sanaullah Ghafari. Ghafari has served as Daesh/ISIS-Khorasan Province's (Daesh/ISIS-K) "current overall emir" since June 2020, and "is responsible for approving all ISIS-K operations throughout Afghanistan and arranging funding to conduct operations," Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement. The terror group's spokesperson, Sultan Aziz Azam, was also blacklisted alongside Maulaw Rajab, the individual the department said is responsible for planning the group's attacks in Kabul. "The United States is committed to using its full set of counterterrorism tools to counter the threat posed by the Islamic State’s Khorasan Province, commonly referred to as ISIS-K, as part of our relentless efforts to ensure Afghanistan cannot again become a platform for international terrorism," said Blinken. Also read: Islamic State violence dents Taliban claims of safer Afghanistan "We will continue to use all levers of American power to target terrorists who plot operations to indiscriminately kill civilians around the world, and those who enable, facilitate, and finance their acts," he added. The Treasury Department earlier on Monday sanctioned Ismatullah Khalozai, whom it said is a pivotal financier for Daesh/ISIS-Kharan Province. The terror group has been blamed, or taken explicit credit, for a sting of grisly attacks in Afghanistan that included a multiple-suicide bombing at Kabul's international airport in August that killed over 150 civilians.

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