“State Department: Taliban is not a terrorist organization,” notes the Daily Caller’s Amanda Carey:
A new State Department report designating terrorist organizations notably excludes one group: the Taliban. The U.S. has been fighting a war in Afghanistan for almost a decade aimed at “defeating the Taliban,” Taliban members repeatedly have threatened and killed American citizens and lawmakers have increased pressure on State to add the Taliban to the list.
Earlier this summer, a group of congressional Democrats sent a letter to Secretary of State Hilary Clinton urging her to begin the process of categorizing the Taliban as a terrorist group. In June, Sens. Charles Schumer and Kristen Gillibrand of New York and Frank Lautenberg and Robert Menendez of New Jersey proposed legislation that would immediately add the Taliban to the terrorist list.
Yet the State Department’s report (due on April 30 but released last week), did not include the Taliban with groups such as al-Qaida, Hamas and the Real Irish Republican Army (RIRA). To qualify, an organization must meet only three criteria: It must be foreign, it must engage in terrorist activity and its activity must threaten the security of the U.S. or its citizens.
“It is hard to imagine this agency can see fit to issue a report that doesn’t include the Taliban groups,” Fred Gedrich, a foreign policy analyst and former State Department employee, told The Daily Caller. “They have killed more Americans and conducted more terror attacks on innocent civilians during the past 12 months than any other terror group.“
Gedrich and others troubled by the Taliban’s absence from the list note that the Taliban recruited and trained the failed Times Square bomber. Just days ago the Taliban claimed responsibility for the deaths of six American medical missionaries in Afghanistan.
“Leaving these ruthless groups off the terror list undermines State Department credibility and could further endanger American troops, U.S. embassy personnel and others in Afghanistan and Pakistan, as well as Americans innocently going about their business in the United States,” Gedrich said.