Hours after designating HASM as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO), the US State Department designated two Egyptians - Yahya al-Sayyid Ibrahim Musa and Alaa Ali Ali Mohammed al-Samahi - as Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) for being leaders in the group.
The movement, which is an affiliate of the banned Muslim Brotherhood, was established in 2014 and claimed responsibility for terrorist attacks and operations in Cairo and other governorates in Egypt.
“HASM was previously designated as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13224 in January 2018 for posing a significant risk of committing acts of terrorism,” a US statement read.
“These designations seek to deny HASM and its leadership the resources to plan and carry out terrorist attacks,” it added.
“Musa is a Turkey-based HASM leader. Al-Samahi is as well,” according to the US Department of the Treasury. They are accused of several cases of violence in Egypt.
“Among other consequences of designations, all of HASM’s, Musa’s and al-Samahi’s property and interests that are within the United States or that come within the United States or that come within the possession or control of US persons, are blocked,” it stated.
Expert on radical movements in Egypt, Amr Abdel Moneim, told Asharq Al-Awsat that al-Samahi is the founder of HASM and is in charge of managing its various cells.
Musa was the spokesman for the health ministry when Egypt was ruled by president Mohammed Morsi, of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Upon Morsi’s ouster, Musa planned and committed several terrorist operations in Egypt, including the attack that killed top prosecutor Hisham Barakat in 2015.