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Thursday, August 18, 2011     INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING

U.S. sanctions Al Qaida-tied Gaza 'terrorist'

WASHINGTON — The United States has imposed sanctions on an Al Qaida-aligned militia commander in the Gaza Strip.


Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ordered sanctions on Mumtaz Dughmoush, commander of the Army of Islam. The department said Washington would ban Americans from dealing with Dughmoush and freeze any of his assets found in the United States.

"This action will help stem the flow of financial and other assistance to this terrorist," the State Department said.

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In a statement on Aug. 16, the department said Dughmoush, the leader of one of the most powerful Palestinian clans, has trained and equipped the Army of Islam to conduct attacks on Israel from the Gaza Strip, Middle East Newsline reported. Dughmoush was also held responsible for at least two attacks in Egypt in 2009.

"Under Dughmoush's guidance, the Army of Islam has launched rocket attacks against Israel from Palestinian territories, kidnapped two Fox News journalists — one American and one British," the statement said. "The group is also responsible for early 2009 attacks on Egyptian civilians in Cairo and Heliopolis, which resulted in casualties and deaths."

In May, Ms. Clinton designated the Army of Islam, founded in 2005, a foreign terrorist organization. Officials said Dughmoush has been receiving funds from Saudi Arabia while maintaining a quiet alliance with the Hamas regime in the Gaza Strip.

"A splinter group of Hamas, the Army of Islam is ideologically aligned with Al Qaida," the department said.

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