The Trump administration has leveled sanctions on a top Islamic State leader who plays a key role in the terror organization's chemical weapons development program, the first ever such designation by the United States in its ongoing fight against the terror group, according to the Treasury Department.
The administration is targeting Attallah Salman ‘Abd Kafi al-Jaburi (al-Jaburi), an ISIS leader and chemical weapons expert, based in Iraq.
Al-Jaburi is assessed to be a "senior leader in charge of factories producing improvised explosive devices (IEDs), vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs), and explosives, and he is involved in the development of chemical weapons," according to the Treasury Department.
Additional sanctions were placed by the State Department on a second ISIS leader in Iraq, Marwan Ibrahim Hussayn Tah al-Azaw, who also plays a role in developing chemical weapons for use in attacks against U.S.-backed Iraqi Security Forces.
"Today's actions mark the first designations targeting individuals involved in ISIS' chemical weapons development," John Smith, director of the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control, or OFAC. "Defeating ISIS is a top priority of this Administration, and today's action highlights why this group must be defeated."
"The Department of the Treasury condemns in the strongest possible terms the use of chemical weapons by any actor, and will leverage all available tools to target those complicit in their development, proliferation, or use," Smith said.
Al- Jaburi serves as ISIS's chemical weapons and explosives manager in Iraq's Kirkuk Province.
He also has been a part of an ISIS group that operated an explosives factory in Hawijah, Iraq that develops rockets and other explosive arms. Al-Jaburi first joined the al Qaida terror group in 2003 before aligning with ISIS. He received chemical weapons training in Syria in 2015 before returning to Iraq.
"ISIS poses a direct security threat to the interests of the United States and the international community, and today's designation emphasizes the United States' ongoing efforts to combat ISIS' lethal weapons capabilities, including chemical weapons," the Treasury Department said.