Date on which the narrative summary became available on the Committee's website: 
28 March 2011
Date(s) on which the narrative summary was updated: 
19 July 2019
14 March 2022
Reason for listing: 

Hassan Dahir Aweys was listed on 9 November 2001 pursuant to paragraph 8(c) of resolution 1333 (2000) as being associated with Al-Qaida, Usama bin Laden or the Taliban for “participating in the financing, planning, facilitating, preparing or perpetrating of acts or activities by, in conjunction with, under the name of, on behalf or in support of”, “supplying, selling or transferring arms and related materiel to” or “otherwise supporting acts or activities of” Al-Qaida (QDe.004), Usama bin Laden and Al-Itihaad al-Islamiya / AIAI (QDe.002).

Additional information: 

Hassan Dahir Aweys is the leader of Al-Itihaad al-Islamiya / AIAI (QDe.002), an Al-Qaida-affiliated (QDe.004) organization based in Somalia which initially sought to overthrow Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre and to establish a theocratic regime in the Horn of Africa. After achieving the former in 1991, AIAI increased its activities and recruited thousands of fighters under the military command of Aweys. AIAI’s leadership also came to include  Adan Hashi Ayro, who had direct contact with Al-Qaida.

After 1992, Sobhi Abdel Aziz Mohamed el Gohary Abu Sinna (deceased), a senior Al-Qaida operative in Somalia, sought allies to attack United States and United Nations forces in Somalia, in line with a ‘fatwa’ issued by Usama bin Laden (deceased) in 1993. Also in 1993, under Aweys’ leadership, AIAI allied with Al-Qaida. Bin Laden devoted substantial funds towards the establishment of an AIAI-administered government in Somalia with the aim of setting up an Al-Qaida base of operations there. In return, AIAI later supported Al-Qaida in perpetrating the 7 August 1998 bombings of the United States Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

Since 1996, still under the leadership of Aweys, AIAI has been involved in several attacks: the shooting of two Ethiopian businessmen in Somalia; several bombings in Ethiopia, including an attack against a hotel in Addis Ababa that killed four people and injured 20; and assassinations and attempted assassinations of Ethiopian cabinet ministers. After Al-Qaida’s attacks in the United States on 11 September 2001, AIAI became decentralized and dispersed in order to avoid being targeted by counter-terrorism operations. Aweys has continued to pursue his AIAI-related goals.

In 2006, Aweys was appointed to a senior leadership position in the Council of Islamic Courts. He used his position to contest the transitional government in Somalia. In December 2006, following the Ethiopian-backed military intervention in Somalia, Aweys moved to Asmara, Eritrea, where he continued to act in line with the goals of AIAI, including by instigating and raising funds and arms for the Al-Qaida-affiliated insurgency and terrorist attacks in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya. He sought a prominent national role and traveled internationally to raise support for his cause. Aweys rejected the United Nations-supported talks that led to the withdrawal of Ethiopian troops from Somalia and the formation of the new Somali government (TFG) under President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed. He subsequently refused to negotiate a cease-fire and, instead, directed his faction to continue the insurgency against the Government and African Union peacekeeping forces in Somalia (AMISOM), in cooperation with the Hizbul Islam coalition.  On 26 May 2009, Aweys was named chairman of Hizbul Islam, an alliance of four armed groups which continued to pose a persistent threat to the peace, security and stability of Somalia and conduct sustained military operations against TFG and AMISOM.

In 2009, Aweys returned to Mogadishu and his forces attempted - and failed - to take power by force from TFG, in cooperation with Harakaat al-Shabaab al-Mujahidiin, which supports Al-Qaida. In September 2009, Aweys strongly condemned a foreign military operation that led to the death of Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan, a high-level Al-Qaida leader involved in high-profile attacks in the region in the 1990s and 2000s, and called on his followers to launch more suicide attacks in response. Thus, over the past decades, Aweys has consistently promulgated Al-Qaida-aligned policies and advocated and resorted to violence in pursuing those goals.

During Aweys leadership, AIAI established ideological, financial, and training links with Al-Qaida, and fostered contacts with Al-Qaida-associated entities in North Africa and the Middle East, including Algeria's Armed Islamic Group (QDe.006); Egyptian Islamic Jihad (QDe.003); the Organization of Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (QDe.014); the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (QDe.011); Islamic Army of Aden (QDe.009); the International Islamic Relief Organization (some offices are listed on the Al-Qaida Sanctions List); and Revival of Islamic Heritage Society (QDe.070). Several AIAI operatives and leaders trained and fought with Al-Qaida in Afghanistan, and continue to provide support and protection to Al-Qaida cells in Somalia.