Terrorists Tagged Twice by State — In Case They Didn’t Get the Memo

Photograph by Echorouk Elyaoumi/AP Photo

Men look at the wreckage of a vehicle near Ain Amenas, Algeria. Algerian bomb squads scouring a gas plant where Islamist militants took dozens of foreign workers hostage found “numerous” new bodies on Jan. 20, 2013 as they searched for explosive traps left behind by the attackers, a security official said, a day after a bloody raid ended the four-day siege of the remote desert refinery.

The Abdallah Azzam Brigades, a militant organization based in Lebanon and the Arabian Peninsula, is a bad, bad group of terrorists.

So bad, in fact, that the U.S. has officially declared them a terrorist organization – for the second time in eight months.

The State Department today issued a press release stating that the brigade had been named a Foreign Terrorist Organization and a Specially Designated Global Terrorist group. It was the same media note, word-for-word, that the department issued first on May 24. The State Department didn’t respond to queries about why the designation was released again today.

The Abdallah Azzam Brigades claimed responsibility for a July 2010 attack on a Japanese-owned oil tanker in the Strait of  Hormuz. They’re also blamed for launching rocket attacks on Israelis from inside Lebanon. The State Department’s release said the group in 2010 had “expressed interest in kidnapping U.S. and British tourists in the Arabian Peninsula.”

The designations prohibit providing material support or resources to, or engaging in transactions with the group. It also freezes any property of the group in the U.S. or under the control of U.S. persons.

The administration must be paying heightened attention to terrorist groups operating in the Middle East and the Arabian Peninsula, especially after recent attacks in North Africa at a gas field in Algeria and at U.S. government facilities in Benghazi, Libya.

Still, it’s unclear why the U.S. re-issued an old release.

Maybe the Abdallah Azzam Brigades didn’t get the first memo.

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