U.S. Molasses Dept. designates Pakistani Taliban

September 5, 2010

All right, American banks and businesses.  Time to review your customers’ names to make sure you freeze the accounts and suspend your transactions with of the Pakistani Taliban’s designated thugs.  The U.S. State Department released this statement on Sept. 1:

The Secretary of State has designated Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) under Section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). The Secretary also designated TTP as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist under E.O. 13224. Furthermore, the Secretary designated two senior TTP leaders, Hakimullah Mehsud and Wali Ur Rehman, as Specially Designated Global Terrorists under E.O. 13224. Secretary Clinton took these actions in consultation with the Attorney General and the Secretary of the Treasury. These actions will help stem the flow of finances to TTP and provide the Department of Justice with a critical tool to prosecute those who knowingly provide material support to TTP and its senior leaders.

National Review Online was not impressed by the lengthy delay in making this designation, offering this analysis:

This move has been a long time coming, as the TTP began operating more than two and a half years ago. Its formation in December 2007 meant that, in a shift, Pakistani militant groups no longer targeted Indian or Western interests alone; the TTP aimed to bring down the Pakistani state as well as traditional militant foes…

The TTP’s activities threaten the rear guard of the American coalition in Afghanistan and thus should have qualified the group for an FTO listing a long time ago. The advance of TTP elements to within 60 miles of the Pakistani capital of Islamabad in April 2009 added to the stack of evidence. The TTP’s involvement in the December 2009 bombing of the CIA facility in Khost, Afghanistan, alone would have been sufficient for an immediate FTO listing. And the direct attack by the TTP upon the U.S. consulate in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar in April 2010 (which I discussed on the Corner here) should have quenched any thirst for further data.

Yet it took an attack by the TTP on the American homeland to trigger the designation of the TTP as an FTO. On May 1, Faisal Shahzad attempted to blow up a vehicle in Times Square; the TTP, whom he had trained with in Pakistan, took credit for the attack and played an operational role in its development. Even after such ties emerged, it took four months for the State Department to list the TTP as an FTO, despite direct urging from Senators Schumer, Hagan, Gillibrand, Menendez, and Lautenberg shortly after the Times Square attack. As noted by Andy McCarthy in the Corner, the State Department failed to include the TTP in its annual Country Reports on Terror, published in early August, although it did include the Harakat ul Jihad Islami (HuJI), a group that poses a threat to U.S. interests through its sustained involvement in attacks in India and Pakistan and links with al-Qaeda efforts in Afghanistan.

Guess we can look forward to Sec. Clinton’s designation of the Haqqani Network sometime in 2012…

One comment

  1. By the way, we turned out to be exactly right in predicting that it would take an additional TWO YEARS till 2012 when the U.S. finally did designate the Haqqani network. Although we thought we were just making a joke at the time!!


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