The U.S. Department of State has designated Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa member Mohamed Lahbous as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) under Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, which targets terrorists and those providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism. As a result of the designation, all property subject to U.S. jurisdiction in which Lahbous has any interest is blocked and U.S. persons are prohibited from engaging in any transactions with Lahbous or to his benefit.
The Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa was created in September 2011 after members broke off from al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) in order to spread their activities into West Africa, and was designated by the Department of State as a SDGT under E.O. 13224 in December 2012. As a member of the organization, Lahbous has participated in a number of attacks, including the October 2011 abduction of three aid workers from a refugee camp in western Algeria, and a June 2012 attack in Ouargla, Algeria, which killed one and injured three. Lahbous has also been involved in arms trading and drug trafficking in North and West Africa.