Senior Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) Border Chief Tirad al-Jarba, better known as Abu-Muhammad al-Shimali, has been associated with ISIL, formerly known as al-Qaida in Iraq, since 2005. He now serves as a key leader in ISIL’s Immigration and Logistics Committee, and is responsible for facilitating the travel of foreign terrorist fighters primarily through Gaziantep, Turkey, and onward to the ISIL-controlled border town of Jarabulus, Syria. Al-Shimali and the Immigration and Logistics Committee coordinate smuggling activities, financial transfers, and the movement of logistics into Syria and Iraq from Europe, North Africa, and the Arabian Peninsula. In 2014, al-Shimali facilitated the travel from Turkey to Syria of prospective ISIL fighters from Australia, Europe, and the Middle East, and managed ISIL’s processing center for new recruits in Azaz, Syria.
On September 29, 2015, the U.S. Department of the Treasury placed al-Shimali on its Specially Designated Nationals list for acting for or on behalf of ISIL. The designation blocks his financial assets and prohibits U.S. persons and financial institutions from dealing with him. On the same day, he was also listed on the United Nations Security Council 1267/1989 (Al-Qaida) Sanctions List, which imposes a travel ban, asset freeze, and arms embargo on Al-Shimali. Al-Shimali is also the subject of an active INTERPOL-UN Special Notice (in the name of Tarad Mohammad Aljarba), which is issued to alert law enforcement agencies worldwide that an individual or entity is subject to UN sanctions.
The United States and the Global Coalition of more than 60 international partners are committed to degrading, and ultimately defeating, ISIL. Achieving this objective requires multiple, mutually reinforcing lines of effort. One of the Coalition’s key lines of effort is stemming the flow of foreign terrorist fighters. This approach brings together homeland security, law enforcement, justice sector, intelligence, diplomatic, military, capacity building, and information sharing efforts.
More than 25,000 foreign terrorist fighters from over 100 countries have traveled to Iraq and Syria. The battlefields in Iraq and Syria provide foreign terrorist fighters with combat experience, weapons and explosives training, and access to terrorist networks that may be planning attacks which target the West. The shared foreign terrorist fighter threat has promoted even closer cooperation among U.S. federal agencies and international partners, who will leverage all available means to disrupt the flow of fighters and ultimately defeat ISIL.