Amid the Afghanistan crisis, a group of four US Senators has urged Secretary of State Antony Blinken to designate the Taliban as a "foreign terrorist" organisation. Senators Joni K Ernst, Rick Scott, Tommy Tuberville and Dan Sullivan wrote a letter to Blinken and said that the Taliban display the "will and the means" to attack Americans and US interests. They wrote that the "hasty and ill-conceived withdrawal" of the US military from the war-torn nation created a security vacuum that the Taliban exploited and deposed governing authorities in all Afghan provinces and in Kabul.
The letter read, “Since re-establishing control of Afghanistan, the Taliban resumed the same murderous and oppressive habits that characterised their leadership tenure prior to the arrival of US forces in 2001.”
The Senators further even went on to talk about public attacks on individuals, the beating of women and girls, and search teams actively pursuing allies and partners. They said that the violence by the Taliban is in addition to the “horrific and deadly” attacks on US service members at Hamid Karzai International Airport, which has been renamed as Kabul Airport, on 26 August. The Senators further spoke about the significant quantities of advanced military equipment under the Taliban's control.
They said, “We are also concerned that the Taliban now control significant quantities of advanced military equipment intended for use by the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces. That captured military equipment has significantly expanded the Taliban's military power and provided them with the capability and capacity to cause great harm to their intended targets.”
Moreover, the US Senator raised concerns about the new caretaker Taliban government in Afghanistan, which appointed a terrorist wanted by the FBI. On the appointment of Sirajuddin Haqqani, the leader of the Haqqani network, stated that the Taliban allowed terror organisations to join the government.
The Senators went on to say that the Taliban meets all three criterias of the Immigration and Nationality Act. It is to mention that to designate the Taliban as a terrorist organisation, the criteria include: the organisation is a foreign organisation; the organisation engages in terrorist activity or retains the capability and intent to engage in terrorist activity or terrorism, and the terrorist activity or terrorism of the organisation threatens the security of US nationals or the national security of the nation. The senators urged Blinken to designate that insurgent group as a foreign terrorist organisation and treat them as such to the maximum extent of the law.