Bonomade Machude Omar

Bonomade Machude Omar is a U.S.-designated senior military commander of ISIS-Mozambique. Omar has been responsible for attacks in Cabo Delgado Province, Mozambique, and Mtwara Region, Tanzania.“Designations of ISIS-Mozambique, JNIM, and al-Shabaab Leaders,” U.S. Department of State, August 6, 2021, https://www.state.gov/designations-of-isis-mozambique-jnim-and-al-shabaab-leaders/. The U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of the Treasury designated Omar as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) and a Specially Designated National (SDN) respectively, on August 6, 2021.“Designations of ISIS-Mozambique, JNIM, and al-Shabaab Leaders,” U.S. Department of State, August 6, 2021, https://www.state.gov/designations-of-isis-mozambique-jnim-and-al-shabaab-leaders/; “Counter Terrorism Designations,” U.S. Department of the Treasury, August 6, 2021, https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/financial-sanctions/recent-actions/20210806.

Also known as Ahlu Sunnah Wal Jamaah (ASWJ) and referred locally as al-Shabaab, ISIS-Mozambique has killed more than 1,300 civilians since October 2017 and has caused the displacement of nearly 670,000 people within northern Mozambique.“State Department Terrorist Designations of ISIS Affiliates and Leaders in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Mozambique,” U.S. Department of State, March 10, 2021, https://www.state.gov/state-department-terrorist-designations-of-isis-affiliates-and-leaders-in-the-democratic-republic-of-the-congo-and-mozambique/. The United States designated ISIS-Mozambique as a Foreign Terrorist Organization on March 10, 2021.“State Department Terrorist Designations of ISIS Affiliates and Leaders in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Mozambique,” U.S. Department of State, March 10, 2021, https://www.state.gov/state-department-terrorist-designations-of-isis-affiliates-and-leaders-in-the-democratic-republic-of-the-congo-and-mozambique/.

Omar leads the Military and External Affairs Department for insurgent group and coordinates the militant group’s attacks in northern Mozambique. Omar also serves as the lead facilitator and communications conduit for the jihadist group.“Designations of ISIS-Mozambique, JNIM, and al-Shabaab Leaders,” U.S. Department of State, August 6, 2021, https://www.state.gov/designations-of-isis-mozambique-jnim-and-al-shabaab-leaders/.

Omar, along with ISIS-Mozambique leader Abu Yasir Hassan, led groups of fighters during the two-day attack on Palma, northeast Mozambique on March 24, 2021. Omar directed the attack on the Amarula hotel in Palma, a popular location for foreign contractors working on lucrative gas projects in the country. The Mozambican government claimed seven people were killed in the incident, but witnesses claimed the attack was more akin to a “massacre.”“Mozambique Palma attack: How people tried to flee the assault,” BBC News, April 4, 2021, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-56602841; “Designations of ISIS-Mozambique, JNIM, and al-Shabaab Leaders,” U.S. Department of State, August 6, 2021, https://www.state.gov/designations-of-isis-mozambique-jnim-and-al-shabaab-leaders/.

Given Omar’s role in leading an Islamist insurgency that has caused ongoing destruction to Mozambique and its neighboring countries, on August 6, 2021, the U.S. Department of State designated Omar as an SDFT and the U.S. Department of the Treasury designated Omar as an SDN.“Designations of ISIS-Mozambique, JNIM, and al-Shabaab Leaders,” U.S. Department of State, August 6, 2021, https://www.state.gov/designations-of-isis-mozambique-jnim-and-al-shabaab-leaders/; “Counter Terrorism Designations,” U.S. Department of the Treasury, August 6, 2021, https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/financial-sanctions/recent-actions/20210806.

United States

The U.S. Department of State designated Bonomade Machude Omar as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist on August 6, 2021.“Designations of ISIS-Mozambique, JNIM, and al-Shabaab Leaders,” U.S. Department of State, August 6, 2021, https://www.state.gov/designations-of-isis-mozambique-jnim-and-al-shabaab-leaders/.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury designated Bonomade Machude Omar as a Specially Designated National on August 6, 2021.“Counter Terrorism Designations,” U.S. Department of the Treasury, August 6, 2021, https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/financial-sanctions/recent-actions/20210806.

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On January 15, 2019, al-Shabaab gunmen stormed an upscale hotel and office complex in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi. The attack lasted over 12 hours, killing 22 people and wounding 27 others.   

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