Fri, 22 Oct 2021

Washington [US], September 17 (ANI): In a letter, a group of four US senators urged Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday to designate the Taliban as a foreign terrorist organisation.

Senators Joni K Ernst, Tommy Tuberville, Rick Scott and Dan Sullivan said that the Taliban display the will and the means to attack Americans and US interests.

Airing their concern, they wrote in the letter that the hasty and ill-conceived withdrawal of US military forces from Afghanistan created a security vacuum that the Taliban exploited and deposed governing authorities in all Afghan provinces and in the capital city of Kabul.

"Since re-establishing control of Afghanistan, the Taliban resumed the same murderous and oppressive habits that characterized their leadership tenure prior to the arrival of US forces in 2001," read the letter.

They also talked about public attacks on individuals, beatings of women and girls, and search teams actively pursuing allies and partners.

"Most concerning to us is that among those beaten and chased by Taliban forces were American citizens and their families still living in Afghanistan. This is in addition to the horrific and deadly attacks on our own service members at Hamid Karzai International Airport on August 26, 2021," read the letter.

Talking about significant quantities of advanced military equipment under the Taliban control, they said, "We are also concerned that the Taliban now controls significant quantities of advanced military equipment intended for use by the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces. That captured military equipment has significantly expanded the Taliban's military power and provided them with the capability and capacity to cause great harm to their intended targets."They also raised their concern about the new caretaker government of the Taliban in Afghanistan which appointed hardliners and known terrorists wanted by the FBI.

"The Taliban appointed Sirajuddin Haqqani, the leader of the Haqqani network and a known terrorist wanted by the FBI for the murder of American citizens, as Interior Minister and allowed terror organizations to join the government," read the letter.

Pursuant to the Immigration and Nationality Act, the Secretary of State is authorized to designate foreign organizations as terrorist organizations if they meet three criteria: the organization is a foreign organization; the organization engages in terrorist activity or retains the capability and intent to engage in terrorist activity or terrorism, and the terrorist activity or terrorism of the organization threatens the security of United States nationals or the national security of the United States.

The Senators told Blinken that the Taliban meets all three criteria and urged him to consider designating the Taliban as a foreign terrorist organization and treating them as such to the maximum extent of the law. (ANI)

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