Ansaru, which originated as a faction of Boko Haram, has close ties to al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), and has sought to target Westerners, including US citizens.
According to the US government, at Barnawi reportedly helped plan the May 2011 kidnapping by Ansaru of a British and an Italian engineer, who were both killed 10 months later.
The Department of State named at Barnawi a Specially Designated Global Terrorist on June 21, 2012.
It noted that Khairy and Tilemsi are both founding members of the terrorist group Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJWA) and former members of AQIM.
While a member of AQIM, Khairy, planned terrorist operations against Mauritania and participated in planning the December 2008 abduction of UN envoy and Canadian Ambassador, Robert Fowler, in Niger, according to the US Government.
It disclosed that Khairy had appeared in MUJWA videos threatening those who oppose the organisation.
In January 2012, Khairy stated that MUJWA’s goal was to impose the Sharia Law across the whole of West Africa.
Tilemsi is the military leader of MUJWA. Previously, while a member of AQIM, Tilemsi played a role in the January 2011 kidnapping of two French nationals in Niger. On December 7, 2012, the US State Department placed both Khairy and Tilemsi on the US government’s list of Specially Designated Global Terrorists.
According to the US, Abu-Yusuf al-Muhajir is an explosives expert and was a former member of Tawhid w’al Jihad-Egypt (TWJ-Egypt), an extremist group active in the Sinai Peninsula from 2004 to 2006 and whose members re-established it in 2011.
It stated that Muhajir was involved in the planning of attacks against a variety of targets in Egypt, including US interests. (Thisday)