(Republican Insider) – The Biden regime is hard at work making all kinds of misguided, politically-motivated moves despite the potential for backlash and negative outcomes.
The most recent of these moves is the upcoming removal of five extremist groups from its list of foreign terrorist organizations. All five groups are believed to be defunct but at one point were responsible for the killing of hundreds, if not thousands, of people across Asia, Europe and the Middle East.
Despite the groups being inactive, the Biden regime’s decision to remove them from the list is politically motivated and there could be serious backlash from the victims and their families who are still dealing with the loss of their 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.
On Friday, the US State Department notified Congress of the decision, which just happens to come at a time when the debate in Washington and elsewhere about whether Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard should be removed from the list in an effort to salvage the Iran nuclear deal.
That designation was imposed by President Trump but was not discussed in Friday’s announcement.
The State Department said the terrorism designations for the five groups will be removed when the determinations are published in the Federal Register this coming week.
Each of the notifications were signed by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday and were obtained by the Associated Press.
In each of the cases, the decision to remove them from the list is the same. Blinken claimed it was part of a routine administrative review which is required by law to occur every five years.
The reviews take a number of factors into consideration such as whether the groups are still active, whether they have committed terrorist acts with the last five years and whether removing them from the list would be in the best interests of the US.
“Based on a review of the Administrative Record assembled in this matter and in consultation with the Attorney General and the Secretary of the Treasury, I determine that the circumstances that were the basis for the designation … have changed in such a manner to warrant revocation of the designation,” Blinken wrote in each notice.
Removing them from the list is no trivial act. After their removal, a range of sanctions will be undone such as asset freezes, travel bans, and any prohibition on Americans providing the groups or their members with any material support.
All but one of the five groups have been on the list since 1997. US officials familiar with the matter said the decisions are arrived at after consulting lawmakers about whether the latest five-year review should proceed.
Prior to this group, only 15 groups have been removed from the list.
The specific reasons for each of the removals is designated as classified and therefore can only be shared among US officials with the proper security clearances.
The Western Journal reports the following about the groups being removed:
-Aum Shinrikyo (AUM), the Japanese “Supreme Truth” cult that carried out the deadly sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway in 1995 that killed 13 people and sickened hundreds more. The group has been considered largely defunct since the executions of its top echelons, including leader Shoko Asahara, in 2018. It was designated a foreign terrorist organization in 1997.
-Basque Fatherland and Liberty, or ETA, which ran a separatist campaign of bombings and assassinations in northern Spain and elsewhere for decades that killed more than 800 people and wounded thousands more, until declaring a cease-fire in 2010 and disbanding after the arrests and trials of its last leaders in 2018. It was designated a foreign terrorist organization in 1997.
-Kahane Chai, or Kach. The radical Orthodox Jewish group was founded by ultranationalist Israeli Rabbi Meir Kahane in 1971. He led the group until his assassination in 1990. Members of the group have killed, attacked or otherwise threatened or harassed Arabs, Palestinians and Israeli government officials, but the organization has been dormant since 2005. The group was first designated in 1997.
-The Mujahidin Shura Council in the Environs of Jerusalem, is 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.
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