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Feinstein Urges Clinton to Add Pakistani Taliban, Haqqani Network to Banned Terrorist List

In the wake of the attempted Times Square bombing, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the chairwoman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, is urging Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to include what she considers affiliated extremist groups — the Pakistani Taliban and the Haqqani Network — on the State Department’s list of banned terrorists.

Feinstein issued that call in a Tuesday press conference following an intelligence briefing her committee received from the FBI, the National Counterterrorist Center and the Department of Homeland Security in the wake of the attempt. Her co-chairman, Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.), was more cautious about attributing blame to Pakistani extremist groups, though Bond appears to have napped during the briefing. While both Feinstein and Bond characterized that the extremist groups’ culpability as unproven, Feinstein said that suspect Faisal Shahzad, a naturalized U.S. citizen, received “training while he was in Pakistan, specifically Waziristan, from the Taliban.”

This afternoon, Feinstein’s office released a letter the chairwoman sent to Secretary Clinton, seeking the new designation for the Pakistani Taliban and the Haqqani Network. The full letter:

Dear Secretary Clinton:

I write to urge you to add the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) (commonly known as the “Pakistani Taliban”) to the State Department’s list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations and to consider adding other terrorist groups to the existing list of forty-five designated terrorist groups.

I believe that there are several terrorist groups – like the Pakistani Taliban and the Haqqani Network – not currently designated as Foreign Terrorist Organizations that meet the following criteria laid out by section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act:

(1) The organization is foreign;

(2) The organization engages in terrorist activity; and

(3) The terrorist activity threatens the security of United States citizens or the national security of the United States.

I believe the Pakistani Taliban and the Haqqani Network clearly meet all three criteria. I also believe the list of designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations must be reviewed and updated on a routine basis given the evolving and multiplying number of terrorist groups and the militant groups with which they associate that threaten our national security, especially those in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region.

Designating more groups as Foreign Terrorist Organizations would enable law enforcement and our Intelligence Community to: (1) curb terrorism financing to the group, (2) bar foreign nationals with ties to the group from entering the U.S. and remove them from the U.S. in some instances, and (3) ban material support to the group.

Thank you very much for your attention to this matter and for your continued good work to protect the national security of the United States.

Sincerely yours,

Dianne Feinstein

United States Senator

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