WASHINGTON, Jan. 10 (UPI) -- Three related groups operating in North Africa have been designated as terrorist organizations, the U.S. State Department said Friday.
Two of the groups are based in Libya, Ansar al-Sharia in Benghazi and Ansar al-Sharia in Darnah. The third is Ansar al-Sharia in Tunisia.
Ahmed Abu Khattalah and Sufian bin Qumu, leaders of the Benghazi and Darnah groups, and Seifallah ben Hassine, founder of the Tunisia group who also uses the name Abu Iyadh, have been designated as global terrorists, officials said.
The Libyan groups have been involved in attacks on civilians and security forces in eastern Libya as well as the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, officials said. The Tunisian organization is believed to be responsible for an attack on the U.S. Embassy and American School in Tunis in September 2012.