Bilal Ali Muhammad al-Wafi

Bilal Ali Muhammad al-Wafi is a key member of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), and has helped to execute at least one of the group’s major attacks––the 2012 bombing of a Yemeni military parade that killed more than 100 soldiers.“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; Hakim Almasmari and Mohammed Jamjoom, “Huge suicide blast kills more than 100 troops in Yemen,” CNN, May 21, 2012, http://www.cnn.com/2012/05/21/world/meast/yemen-violence/index.html. 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.

Wafi was born in sometime between 1986 and 1989 in Yemen’s Taiz Governorate, where he still resides.“Counter Terrorism Designations,” U.S. Department of the Treasury, October 25, 2017, https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/OFAC-Enforcement/Pages/20171025.aspx. He became involved with AQAP sometime before 2012. On May 21, 2012, in one of AQAP’s deadliest attacks in Yemen to date, a suicide bomber detonated a bomb at a Yemeni military parade rehearsal in the al-Sabin Square in Sanaa, killing at least 100 soldiers and wounding more than 220 others.“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; Hakim Almasmari and Mohammed Jamjoom, “Huge suicide blast kills more than 100 troops in Yemen,” CNN, May 21, 2012, http://www.cnn.com/2012/05/21/world/meast/yemen-violence/index.html. According to the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Wafi was “involved” in this attack.“Counter Terrorism Designations,” U.S. Department of the Treasury, October 25, 2017, https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/OFAC-Enforcement/Pages/20171025.aspx.

Wafi has since remained involved with AQAP. The U.S. Treasury Department reports that Wafi was a “key member” of the group as of mid-2017.“Counter Terrorism Designations,” U.S. Department of the Treasury, October 25, 2017, https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/OFAC-Enforcement/Pages/20171025.aspx.

On October 25, 2017, the U.S. Treasury Department named Wafi a Specially Designated Global Terrorist for acting for or on behalf of AQAP.“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 Wafi 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.

Bahrain
October 25, 2017

Bahrain added “Bilal Ali Muhammad al-Wafi” 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 “Bilal Ali Muhammad al-Wafi” 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 “Bilal Ali Muhammad al-Wafi” 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 “Bilal Ali Muhammad al-Wafi” 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 “Bilal Ali Muhammad al-Wafi” 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 “Bilal Ali Muhammad al-Wafi” 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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