WASHINGTON, Jan. 24 (UPI) -- The U.S. State Department Thursday designated the Abdallah Azzam Brigades as a foreign terrorist organization, officials said.
The group, which attacked a Japanese-owned oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz in July 2010, operates in Lebanon and on the Arabian Peninsula. State Department officials said the brigades also was responsible for firing rockets from Lebanon into civilian areas of northern Israel.
"AAB has repeatedly articulated its intent to carry out attacks against Western interests in the Middle East. In 2010, for instance, the group expressed an interest in kidnapping U.S. and British tourists in the Arabian Peninsula," the State Department said in a release.
The brigades are led by Saleh al-Qar'awi, who was also designated a terrorist along with the group's bomb expert Abu Jabal.
The State Department action freezes all property of the Abdallah Azzam Brigades in the United States and bars knowingly providing material support to the group.