Abu Sulayman al-Adani

Abu Sulayman al-Adani is the emir of ISIS’s affiliate in Yemen. Before becoming emir, he served as a military commander in the group.“Treasury and Terrorist Financing Targeting Certain Partners Issue First Joint Sanctions Against Key Terrorists and Supporters,” U.S. Department of the Treasury, October 25, 2017, https://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/sm0187.aspx. He was designated as a terrorist by the United States and six Gulf countries in October 2017.Thomas Joscelyn, “US and Gulf nations sanction 8 jihadists in Yemen,” Long War Journal, October 25, 2017, https://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2017/10/us-and-gulf-nations-sanction-8-jihadists-in-yemen.php.

Adani was born in 1988. According to the U.S. Department of State, he has dual Yemeni and Jordanian citizenship, holding passports from both countries. Although his place of birth is unknown, he presently resides in Yemen.“Counter Terrorism Designations,” U.S. Department of the Treasury, October 25, 2017, https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/OFAC-Enforcement/Pages/20171025.aspx.

In 2013, he was reportedly recommended by current ISIS emir Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi to become the emir of the group’s affiliate in Yemen.“Treasury and Terrorist Financing Targeting Certain Partners Issue First Joint Sanctions Against Key Terrorists and Supporters,” U.S. Department of the Treasury, October 25, 2017, https://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/sm0187.aspx. However, when ISIS’s Yemeni affiliate actually formed in November 2014, Nassir al-Harbi (a.k.a. Abu Bilal al-Harbi) became its self-proclaimed emir, although there were reports of disputes surrounding his leadership in subsequent years.Treasury Sanctions Major Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant Leaders, Financial Figures, Facilitators, and Supporters,” U.S. Department of the Treasury, September 29, 2015, https://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/jl0188.aspx. In late 2015, seventy members of ISIS in Yemen rebelled against Harbi for reportedly violating Sharia law.Thomas Joscelyn and Bill Roggio, “Divisions emerge within the Islamic State’s Yemen ‘province,’” Long War Journal, December 23, 2015, https://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2015/12/divisions-emerge-within-the-islamic-states-yemen-province.php. While the exact circumstances of Harbi’s removal from the position are unknown, Adani reportedly became emir of ISIS in Yemen by March 2017. Prior to becoming emir, Adani served as a military commander for the group.“Treasury and Terrorist Financing Targeting Certain Partners Issue First Joint Sanctions Against Key Terrorists and Supporters,” U.S. Department of the Treasury, October 25, 2017, https://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/sm0187.aspx.

On October 25, 2017, the U.S. Department of the Treasury named Adani a Specially Designated Global Terrorist for acting for or on behalf of ISIS in Yemen.“Treasury and Terrorist Financing Targeting Certain Partners Issue First Joint Sanctions Against Key Terrorists and Supporters,” U.S. Department of the Treasury, October 25, 2017, https://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/sm0187.aspx. Several Gulf countries also belonging to the Terrorist Financing Targeting Center, a coalition of nations established in May 2017, also agreed to impose similar sanctions against Adani on the same date. These countries included Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates.Thomas Joscelyn, “US and Gulf nations sanction 8 jihadists in Yemen,” Long War Journal, October 25, 2017, https://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2017/10/us-and-gulf-nations-sanction-8-jihadists-in-yemen.php.

On June 3, 2019, Adani was reportedly captured by Saudi and Yemeni special forces.Joanne Stocker, “Saudi-led coalition claims capture of senior Islamic State Yemen figure,” The Defense Post, June 25, 2019, https://www.thedefensepost.com/2019/06/25/saudi-capture-yemen-isis-leader/.

United States
October 25, 2017

The U.S. Department of the Treasury designated “Abu Sulayman al-Adani” as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13224.“Counter Terrorism Designations,” U.S. Department of the Treasury, October 25, 2017, https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/OFAC-Enforcement/Pages/20171025.aspx.

Bahrain
October 25, 2017

Bahrain added “Abu Sulayman al-Adani” to its list of designated terrorist individuals.Thomas Joscelyn, “US and Gulf nations sanction 8 jihadists in Yemen,” Long War Journal, October 25, 2017, https://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2017/10/us-and-gulf-nations-sanction-8-jihadists-in-yemen.php.

Kuwait
October 25, 2017

Kuwait added “Abu Sulayman al-Adani” to its list of designated terrorist individuals.Thomas Joscelyn, “US and Gulf nations sanction 8 jihadists in Yemen,” Long War Journal, October 25, 2017, https://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2017/10/us-and-gulf-nations-sanction-8-jihadists-in-yemen.php.

Oman
October 25, 2017

Oman added “Abu Sulayman al-Adani” to its list of designated terrorist individuals.Thomas Joscelyn, “US and Gulf nations sanction 8 jihadists in Yemen,” Long War Journal, October 25, 2017, https://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2017/10/us-and-gulf-nations-sanction-8-jihadists-in-yemen.php.

Saudi Arabia
October 25, 2017

Saudi Arabia added “Abu Sulayman al-Adani” to its list of designated terrorist individuals.Thomas Joscelyn, “US and Gulf nations sanction 8 jihadists in Yemen,” Long War Journal, October 25, 2017, https://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2017/10/us-and-gulf-nations-sanction-8-jihadists-in-yemen.php.

Qatar
October 25, 2017

Qatar added “Abu Sulayman al-Adani” to its list of designated terrorist individuals.Thomas Joscelyn, “US and Gulf nations sanction 8 jihadists in Yemen,” Long War Journal, October 25, 2017, https://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2017/10/us-and-gulf-nations-sanction-8-jihadists-in-yemen.php.

United Arab Emirates
October 25, 2017

The United Arab Emirates added “Abu Sulayman al-Adani” to its list of designated terrorist individuals.Thomas Joscelyn, “US and Gulf nations sanction 8 jihadists in Yemen,” Long War Journal, October 25, 2017, https://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2017/10/us-and-gulf-nations-sanction-8-jihadists-in-yemen.php.

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