The U.S. State Department announced Tuesday it has added the Gaza-based Dughmush clan, head of the Army of Islam, to its list of global terrorists, saying it is trying work with Al Qaeda.
The new designation prohibits Americans from dealing with the group and “will help stem the flow of financial and other assistance” to the Army of Islam, the State Department stated.
The clan, headed by Mumtaz Dughmush, is a splinter group of Hamas and was involved in the kidnapping of abducted IDF Cpl.Gilad Shalit five years ago and of British journalist Alan Johnston in March 2007.
Johnston was released after nearly four months, but Shalit remains in captivity, his condition and whereabouts unknown.
The State Department noted, “The Army of Islam is…responsible for numerous terrorist acts against the governments of Israel and Egypt.” The Army of Islam also was responsible for numerous missile attacks on Israel and deadly terrorist attacks in Cairo and in Helioplios.
Its huge arsenal has made its army a bitter rival for Hamas, which has had difficulty in controlling numerous terrorist groups in Gaza.
The State Department last May designated the Army of Islam as a foreign terrorist organization and reported, “The Army of Islam subscribes to a Salafist ideology of global jihad together with the traditional model of armed Palestinian resistance."
The terrorist clan has said it backs the international Al Qaeda terror organization, and five days after American elite soldiers assassinated Al Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden, the Army of Islam eulogized him.