Indian-origin Islamic State militant from Britain — Siddhartha Dhar — has been designated as a global terrorist by the United States. Dhar, along with a Belgian-Moroccan citizen Abdelatif Gaini, was designated as a global terrorist by the State Department on Tuesday.
“The State Department has designated two ISIS members, Siddhartha Dhar and Abdelatif Gaini, as Specially Designated Global Terrorists under Section 1(b) of Executive Order which also imposes sanctions on foreign persons determined to have committed, or pose a significant risk of committing, acts of terrorism that threaten the security of US nationals or the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the US,” a state department spokesperson said in a statement.
Dhar is a British Hindu who converted to Islam and now goes by the name Abu Rumaysah. He had skipped police bail in the UK to travel to Syria with his wife and young children in 2014.
The Independent, in May 2016, had quoted Nihad Barakat— a Yazidi teenager held as a sex slave by ISIS—as saying that she was kidnapped and trafficked by Dhar, who was based in Mosul, the group’s former stronghold in Iraq. The ISIS militant was dubbed as the “New Jihadi John” and became a senior commander of the dreaded outfit, the report had said.
According to the statement from the US State Department, the designations seek to deny Dhar and Gaini the resources they need to plan and carry out further terrorist attacks.
Dhar was a leading member of now-defunct terrorist organisation Al-Muhajiroun. In late 2014, Dhar left the United Kingdom to travel to Syria to join ISIS, the statement said. He is considered to have replaced ISIS executioner Mohammad Emwazi, also known as “Jihadi John”, it added.
According to the statement, Dhar is believed to be the masked leader who appeared in a January 2016 ISIS video of the execution of several prisoners ISIS accused of spying for the UK. Dhar was a leading member of now-defunct terrorist organisation Al-Muhajiroun. In late 2014, he left the UK to
travel to Syria to join ISIS, it said.
(With PTI inputs)