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Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, leading a group of senators on Wednesday sent a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken asking them to designate the Taliban as one. foreign terrorist organization (FTO).

The Taliban, a Sunni Islamist nationalist group, recently gained control of Afghanistan after the Biden administration ordered a complete withdrawal of US forces from the country after 20 years of war.


“Since reasserting control of Afghanistan, the Taliban resumed the same murderous and oppressive habits that characterized their leadership tenure before the arrival of US forces in 2001,” the senators wrote. “Even as the administration concluded the withdrawal of American and allied forces from Afghanistan, we saw public attacks on individuals, beatings of women and girls, and search teams actively pursuing allies and partners. “

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The senators said the most important aspect of the group and its control over Afghanistan “is that among those who were beaten and pursued by Taliban forces were American citizens and their families still living in Afghanistan.”

Florida’s Republican Sens. Rick Scott, Dan Sullivan of Alaska and Tommy Tuberville of Alabama signed the letter.

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state Department recognizes Al Qaeda – which the Taliban helped protect during the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks – and several other groups form FTOs, but the Taliban have yet to list the department.

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According to the State Department, listed organizations must engage in terrorist activities that threaten the safety of American citizens or the national security of the country.

The Taliban is responsible for most militant attacks in Afghanistan. According to Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), and is denied Basic health care and educational rights for Afghan citizens, especially women.

Taliban soldiers stand guard in Afghanistan's north-eastern Panjshir province, Wednesday, September 8, 2021.  (AP photo/Mohammed Asif Khan)

“The Taliban appointed Sirajuddin Haqqani, the leader of the Haqqani network and a known terrorist wanted by the FBI for killing American citizens, as interior minister and allowing terrorist organizations to join the government,” the senators said.

He continued: “Given their history of supporting terrorist attacks on the United States, their brutal style of governance, their continued displays of atrocities against Americans and our allies, and now, their increased military capability, the Taliban government The current edition of Presents a. Significant Threat to the United States of … Consider nominating them and dealing with them to the extent of the law.”

In addition to Ernst’s letter, lawmakers on Tuesday introduced two resolutions in the House and Senate calling on the State Department to designate the Taliban as an FTO.

Blinken took questions from lawmakers on Monday during a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on Afghanistan’s withdrawal. The senator said the nature of the Taliban’s relationship with the US and the rest of the world “will depend entirely on its conduct and actions” on freedom of travel, human rights and counter-terrorism.

He says the world has “significant gains” against the Taliban, noting that travel restrictions are in place, UN sanctions against the Taliban and Afghanistan’s financial reserves are currently frozen in banks that are almost exclusively American.

The Haqqani Network, whose leader, Sirajuddin Haqqani, is the deputy leader of the Taliban, has been designated as an FTO since 2012.

Granthshala News’ Adam Shaw contributed to this report.