State Dept. designates al-Qaida-linked Palestinian a terrorist

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The U.S. State Department added a Lebanon-based Palestinian Islamist linked to al-Qaida to its list of designated terrorists.

Usamah Amin al-Shihabi is an associate of Fatah al-Islam, “a Lebanese-based militant group formed in 2006, whose ultimate goal is the institution of Islamist sharia law in the Palestinian refugee camps and the destruction of Israel,” a statement issued Wednesday by the State Department said.

Media reports have identified al-Shihabi as part of an al-Qaida vanguard in Lebanon and as having plotted attacks against Americans.

Being designated a terrorist means “a prohibition against U.S. persons engaging in transactions with al-Shihabi, and the freezing of all property and interests in property of al-Shihabi that are in the United States, or come within the United States or the possession or control of U.S. persons,” the statement said.

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