ISIS in the Greater Sahara (ISIS-GS) was formed in 2015 after it split from al-Mourabitoun, an al-Qa’ida splinter group, and swore allegiance to ISIS. Primarily based in Mali and operating along the Mali-Niger border, the group is also active in Burkina Faso. ISIS-GS has claimed responsibility for several attacks, including the October 4, 2017 attack on a joint U.S.-Nigerien patrol in the region of Tongo Tongo, Niger, which resulted in the deaths of four U.S. soldiers and four Nigerien soldiers. In November 2019, ISIS-GS launched an assault on a Malian military base that killed 54 soldiers.
On May 23, 2018, the U.S. Department of State designated ISIS-GS as a Foreign Terrorist Organization under section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as amended. Previously, on May 16, 2018, the Department of State designated ISIS-GS as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist pursuant to Executive Order 13224, as amended. As a result, all of ISIS-GS’s property, and interests in property, subject to U.S. jurisdiction are blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in any transactions with ISIS-GS. It is a crime to knowingly provide, or to attempt or conspire to provide, material support or resources to ISIS-GS.