After President Joe Biden coordinated with the Taliban to help with the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, lawmakers are calling on the Biden administration to the Taliban them a terrorist group. The label would prevent the Treasury Department from allowing the Taliban access to the millions of dollars in funding provided to the Afghan government.
Several Senators sent a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken to label the Taliban for its violence against Americans and women, fueled by radical Islamic ideology.
“Since reestablishing control of Afghanistan, the Taliban resumed the same murderous and oppressive habits that characterized their leadership tenure prior to the arrival of U.S. forces in 2001,” the letter reads. “Even as the administration concluded the withdrawal of U.S. and allied forces from Afghanistan, we saw 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.”
The lawmakers point out the leadership of the Taliban has a history of terrorism.
“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,” the letter reads. “Given their history of supporting terror attacks on the United States, their brutal style of governance, their continued display of atrocities against Americans and our allies, and now, their enhanced military capability, the current version of the Taliban government presents a significant threat to the United States…We believe the Taliban easily meets all three criteria and urge you to consider designating the Taliban as a foreign terrorist organization and treating them as such to the maximum extent of the law.”
Lawmakers want to make it more difficult for countries to help the Taliban, given their terrorist dealings.
“This resolution is one of the most important things Congress can do regarding the takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. “Designating the Taliban as a Foreign Terrorist Organization will make it harder for countries to provide them aid and recognition. We would be sending a strong signal that America does not do business with terrorist groups and their sympathizers. The Taliban are radical jihadists in every sense of the word and use terror as their tactic.”