After Joe Biden’s disastrous retreat from Afghanistan, the country has fallen to a medieval band of degenerate savages known as the Taliban. Despite its depraved behavior, you won’t hear anyone in our government call the Taliban what it is: a terrorist organization. Instead, Secretary of State Blinken has said, for example, that the Taliban, “does not meet the test of inclusivity.” It’s as if the Biden administration is more concerned that the Taliban is led by men than that it’s led by terrorists.
This administration has refused to declare that the Taliban is a foreign terrorist organization—perhaps because the president outsourced the security of American citizens to the Taliban last month and stood by as it took over a country of nearly forty million people.
Once again, the Biden administration is putting image and public relations before everything else. It refuses to acknowledge that the Afghan retreat was anything but an “extraordinary success,” as Joe Biden has called it, and now it’s refusing to call terrorists, terrorists. But the truth is obvious.
If the Taliban isn’t a foreign terrorist organization, what is? The State Department’s terrorism list includes groups like Shining Path, the Marxist-Leninist-Maoist guerrillas in Peru, and Aum Shinrikyo, the Japanese doomsday cult. If the State Department can go to the trouble of designating those groups as terrorist organizations, surely it can do the same for a band of jihadists whose hands are dripping with American blood.
Indeed, the Taliban matches to a tee the definition for foreign terrorist organization under U.S. law. That law sets out three criteria:
First, it must be a foreign organization—I would assume the Biden administration would concede even that point about the Taliban.
Second, it must engage in terrorist activity. Has the Taliban engaged in terrorist activity? Countless victims of Taliban suicide bombings, targeted assassinations, IEDs, and acid attacks would surely answer “Yes” to that question—if they survived these heinous crimes. Consider the following, as well:
At least 14 of the Taliban’s 33 so-called cabinet ministers are on United Nations sanctions lists for terrorism. No fewer than five were once held with terrorists at Guantanamo Bay.
One of the most powerful factions of the Taliban is the murderous Haqqani Network, a twisted clan that the United States has already designated a terrorist organization under the Obama administration. The Taliban has put the leader of the Haqqani Network in charge of the country’s secret police and yes, its immigration system, which is currently determining which persons can leave the country. Sirajuddin Haqqani is one of America’s most-wanted terrorists, for attacking the U.S. Embassy in Kabul and hotels full of civilians, among other crimes.
It’s also worth noting that the son of the Taliban’s leader, its so-called “Emir,” blew himself up in a suicide attack against the Afghan government in 2017. Evidently he thought the Taliban was a terrorist organization, even if some around Washington shrink from that label.
Finally, the third criterion for a foreign terrorist organization is that its terrorism must threaten the security of Americans or our national security. With an estimated 100 Americans and thousands of green-card holders currently trapped in Taliban-occupied Afghanistan, I’d say the answer to that question is also obvious.
It would still be obvious even if we didn’t face an active hostage situation, since the Taliban still provides a safe haven to Al Qaeda, who murdered thousands of Americans on September 11, 2001. And despite the Taliban’s empty promises that it would never again help Al Qaeda, a recent United Nations report found that, “the Taliban and Al-Qaida remain closely aligned and show no indication of breaking ties.” Al Qaeda continues to pledge allegiance to the Taliban, and its regional affiliate even operates under the Taliban banner in Kandahar. Now that’s a national-security threat to America if ever there was one.
So, to summarize, the Taliban is run by terrorists, it associates with terrorists, and it engages in terrorism.
The Biden administration’s refusal to call a spade a spade is a grave insult to the memory of the Taliban’s victims and the tens of thousands of Americans who fought against it. It’s worth remembering how many American lives the Taliban took, how many American warriors they maimed, and how many American families they shattered. That’s terrorism.
So, I’ll be asking unanimous consent for my bill, which would require Secretary Blinken to call the Taliban what they are: not a potential partner for Joe Biden; not a threat to “inclusivity”; but a terrorist organization.