(New York, N.Y.) — Late last month, President Joe Biden ordered U.S. military personnel operating in northern Somalia to conduct a raid that resulted in the death of Bilal al-Sudani, a senior ISIS official and former al-Shabaab financial facilitator and recruiter. The operation also killed 10 of his associates. His death is a direct blow to ISIS’s financial network across Africa, Europe, and Afghanistan as the terror group relied upon al-Sudani to oversee its “financial and logistical network.” The U.S. Department of the Treasury designated al-Sudani as a Specially Designated National in 2012 due to his extensive history of sponsoring terrorism. U.S. officials later determined that he had financed “the same elements of ISIS-K” responsible for the August 2021 bombing at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, which killed 13 U.S. military personnel and dozens of Afghan civilians attempting to escape Taliban rule.
To read the Counter Extremism Project (CEP)’s profile Bilal al-Sudani, please click here.
Al-Sudani reportedly held a significant role in ISIS’s Al-Karrar regional office where he expanded ISIS’s activities in Africa and beyond. Al-Karrar oversees fundraising activities and serves as a coordination hub for operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique, South Africa, various networks between these locations, and potential cells in the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland.
To read CEP’s resource ISIS, please click here.
“Both ISIS and al-Qaeda are expanding their reach in Africa and Afghanistan, and the groups and their affiliates remain a substantial terrorist threat to U.S. national security,” said CEP Advisory Board Member Ambassador Nathan Sales, a former U.S. Ambassador-at-Large and Coordinator for Counterterrorism. “Al-Sudani’s killing brings a measure of justice for the victims of the airport bombing in Kabul. As ISIS will work quickly to rebuild in the wake of al-Sudani’s death, the U.S. and its partners must continue to work together to identify, disrupt, and destroy these transnational networks.”
ISIS has declared provinces in Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Libya, Algeria, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Afghanistan, Africa, and the North Caucasus and within the first seven months of 2019, ISIS announced new provinces in India, Pakistan, Turkey, and Central Africa. The group continued to expand, and in March 2021, the U.S. designated ISIS’s provinces in Mozambique and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Beyond this, the terror group has waged attacks in Turkey, Morocco, Tunisia, the Philippines, Lebanon, Bangladesh, Indonesia, and the Palestinian territories.