In a time-honored move known as the Friday news dump, with our federal government discarding any news or documents it would prefer to be buried and see little to no serious examination or media coverage, the Biden Administration informed Congress on Friday that it is about to move five foreign terror groups off the so-called blacklist.
The United States is poised to remove five extremist groups, all believed to be defunct, from its list of foreign terrorist organizations, including several that once posed significant threats, killing hundreds if not thousands of people across Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. Although the groups are inactive, the decision is politically sensitive for the Biden administration and the countries in which the organizations operated and could draw criticism from victims and their families still dealing with the losses of loved ones. The organizations include the Basque separatist group ETA, the Japanese cult Aum Shinrikyo, the radical Jewish group Kahane Kach, and two Islamic groups that have been active in Israel, the Palestinian territories, and Egypt.
Notice here that the AP writes that these groups are “all believed to be defunct.” I’ll get back to that later.
The reporting by Fox News on this story brings up something RedState has kept an eye on for a while: the concept that the Biden Administration, which has shown it is too lax for comfort about the safety and security of the American people, might be making this move as a test-run of sorts for removing another group from the list: the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. Some Republicans in the House seem to think that’s what’s going on:
The removal comes as the Biden administration faces criticism for considering the removal of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) from the blacklist as part of nuclear deal negotiations. “The Biden administration dragged out briefings about this for months, then went radio silent, then quietly rushed it through hoping no one would notice until it was a done deal,” a senior Republican congressional aide familiar with the notification told Fox Digital of Friday’s move. “Republicans on the Hill believe this was a dress rehearsal for trying to remove terrorism sanctions on the IRGC.”
As we’ve written, the Iran deal, which former President Donald Trump was smart to get us out of while he was in office, is a bigtime priority for Biden and the Obama hangers-on who surround him. And it’s possible that they would be foolish enough to hand Iran such a major concession — without getting anything at all in return. Even Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) has warned them that this is a no-go for his support.
Now, let’s go back to the AP story briefly. There are potentially a few negative aspects to the groups listed as defunct or inactive. One is that we don’t actually know the specific reasons these groups were chosen — because it’s classified. And there’s the fact that it’s rare for groups to be removed from the blacklist.
All but one of the five groups was first designated a foreign terrorist organization in 1997 and have remained on the list for the past 25 years. […] Before now, only 15 groups have been removed from the list.
Yet, Blinken is removing five at once? I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t reassure me.
Perhaps more ominious, though, is this: two of the groups are jihad or Sunni Islamist terror groups, which aren’t described by the AP as defunct or inactive. Below are the full entries:
—The Mujahidin Shura Council in the Environs of Jerusalem, an umbrella group of several jihadist organizations based in Gaza that has claimed responsibility for numerous rocket and other attacks on Israel since its founding in 2012. The council was first designated in 2014. —Gama’a al-Islamiyya, or Islamic Group–IG, an Egyptian Sunni Islamist movement that fought to topple Egypt’s government during the 1990s. It conducted hundreds of deadly attacks against the police and security forces as well as tourists. The group was first designated in 1997.
We have to pray that Republicans regain the majorties in both the House and the Senate in the midterms, then return to the White House in 2024, because keeping Americans on eggshells like this is not the way to run a foreign policy.
Author: Becca Lower