Put the Terrorists on the ListBy MICHAEL MCAULIFF
June 23, 2010
The State Department is weighing putting the Pakistani Taliban on the terrorist organization list, but that’s not good enough for New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, who joined a few colleagues today to propose legislation to get it done.
Schumer wants his former colleague, Secretary of State Clinton, to get a move on now that Faisal Shahzad admitted he got trained and sent on his mission to bomb Times Square by the group.
“Even as Shahzad pled guilty, he vowed that he and others from the Pakistani Taliban would be back to carry out more attacks on the U.S.,” Schumer said, with Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) and Robert Menendez (D-N.J.).
“We cannot wait any longer to go after this group with everything we’ve got,” Schumer said. “This organization poses an existential threat to the safety of not only our soldiers fighting abroad, but also Americans here at home.”
The designation as a foreign terrorist organization by the State Department gives the feds a few more tools, including the ability to freeze assets, bar foreign nationals with ties to the group from the U.S., and prosecute people who provide any material assistance to the group. Although, as James Meek reports, the Pakistani Taliban is an umbrella group whose members are mostly on the list already.
Rep. Pete King wasn’t with the Democrats, but he’s also called on Clinton to dub the Pakistani Taliban a terrorist grouop.
State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley suggested the move would be made soon at his briefing today.
“We’re actively considering this, as we pledged, you know, months ago. And we would expect to complete this process relatively soon.”