Senate Republicans Call on Biden Administration to Designate Taliban as Terrorist Group

An armed Taliban fighter escorts veiled women as they march during a pro-Taliban rally outside the Shaheed Rabbani Education University in Kabul on September 11, 2021. (Aamir Qureshi/AFP via Getty Images)
Aamir Qureshi/AFP via Getty Images

A group of Senate Republicans sent a letter to President Joe Biden’s administration urging them to designate the Taliban as a terrorist organization.

The group led by Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) wrote to the U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken with “extreme concern” about the jihadist organization governing Afghanistan after Biden’s “hasty and ill-conceived” withdrawal.

Sens. Rick Scott (R-FL), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), and Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) also signed onto the letter with Ernst. 

“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 group wrote in the letter.

The senators also pointed out that after the withdrawal was completed and hundreds of U.S. citizens were stranded by the Biden administration, they have seen reports of “public attacks on individuals, beatings of women and girls, and search teams absolutely pursuing allies and partners” of the United States.”

They noted that some of those chased and beaten by the terrorists were Americans with families still “living” in the terrorist-controlled country. Additionally, the jihadist organization now possibly controls “significant quantities of advanced military equipment” that was left for the Afghan National Defense and the Security Forces.

Taliban fighters collect military clothes near damaged Afghan military aircraft after the Taliban's takeover inside the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Sept. 5, 2021. (AP Photo/Mohammad Asif Khan)

Taliban fighters collect military clothes near damaged Afghan military aircraft after the Taliban’s takeover inside the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, September 5, 2021. (AP Photo/Mohammad Asif Khan)

The group went on to say that the Taliban appointed Sirajuddin Haqqani the leader of the Haqqani network and a known terrorist who is wanted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). They added:

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.

The Republican senators concluded their letter with, “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.”

Follow Jacob Bliss on Twitter @jacobmbliss.

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