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The PJ Tatler

by
Bridget Johnson

Bio

November 22, 2013 - 7:08 am

Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran (R) is trying to get an amendment tacked onto the defense appropriations bill that would require the U.S. government to probe the threat posed by Al-Shabaab.

Moran’s amendment requests a classified, joint intelligence assessment from the Departments of State and Defense and the Director of National Intelligence to evaluate the threat of Al-Shabaab to the United States and U.S. citizens in the Horn of Africa.

That would include a requirement to probe Al-Shabaab’s funding sources and the nature of its relationship with al-Qaeda.

“As Al-Shabaab attempts to seek resources and recruits within the United States and successfully carried out an attack on civilians in Kenya, it’s imperative that we adequately assess the risk this U.S. designated foreign terrorist organization poses both domestically and to Americans serving in the region,” Moran said.

Moran said that reports on Al-Shabaab, listed as a foreign terrorist organization in 2008, aren’t current or comprehensive enough.

Al-Shabaab’s donors are believed to include people within the United States, in addition to its fundraising through smuggling, extortion, kidnapped civilians, and stealing from Islamic charities.

The group is getting a renewed focus on Capitol Hill after the September 2013 terrorist attack on the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya, that left at least 61 civilians and six Kenyan soldiers dead.

However, the Senate adjourned until Dec. 9 without taking up the defense bill.

The bill failed to pass a cloture vote yesterday after Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) sought to kill any debate on amendments.

That vote came when Republicans weren’t exactly in the mood to help Dems with any votes, as just a couple of hours before Reid had detonated the nuclear option to push through President Obama’s nominees.

Bridget Johnson is a career journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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