US places TTP on terrorism blacklist

The United States on Wednesday added the Tehreek-e-Taliban to a blacklist of foreign terrorist organisations, which means members face asset freezes and travel bans.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton designated the Tehreek-e-Taliban as a foreign terrorist organisation on August 12, and it was formally added to the list when it was published Wednesday in the Federal Register.

“I conclude that there is a sufficient factual basis to find that the relevant circumstances described in section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act…exist with respect” to the group, she wrote.

“Therefore, I hereby designate the aforementioned organisation and its aliases as a foreign terrorist organisation pursuant to section 219 of the INA,” she wrote according to an email distributed by the State Department.

“This organisation poses an existential threat to the safety of not only our soldiers fighting abroad, but also Americans here at home. It’s time we dealt them with every tool at our disposal,” Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer said in June.

The move by the lawmakers came one day after Shahzad pleaded guilty to the failed attack and warned of more strikes on the United States until it leaves Muslim lands.

Shahzad told the judge he had undergone five days of bomb-making training during a 40-day stay with the Pakistani Taliban in Pakistan, between December 9 and January 25.

A week ago, a US official, who spoke to AFP on the condition of anonymity, warned that the Taliban was planning attacks on foreigners participating in flood relief operations in Pakistan.