Feinstein, Chambliss, Rogers, Ruppersberger Urge Terrorist Designation for Haqqani Network

May 11, 2012

For Immediate Release              Contact:  Brian Weiss (Feinstein), (202) 224-9629
May 11, 2012                                             Bronwyn Lance Chester (Chambliss), (202) 224-3423
                                                                  Susan Phalen (Rogers), (202) 226-4158
                                                                  Heather Molino (Ruppersberger), (202) 225-7690

 

 

Feinstein, Chambliss, Rogers, Ruppersberger Urge Terrorist Designation for Haqqani Network

 

“Continues to launch sensational and indiscriminate attacks against U.S. interests in Afghanistan”

 

Washington—The top Democrats and Republicans on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence today urged Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to “immediately designate” the Haqqani Network as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO).

In a letter to Clinton, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Vice Chairman Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) and Ranking Member C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.) wrote:

“Last week, our travel to Afghanistan for meetings with President Karzai, Ambassador Crocker, General Allen, and many military, intelligence, and State Department officers serving in Afghanistan reaffirmed concerns substantiated by intelligence and our oversight work.  It was clear that the Haqqani Network continues to launch sensational and indiscriminate attacks against U.S. interests in Afghanistan and the group poses a continuing threat to innocent men, women, and children in the region.” 

 

Full text of the letter follows:

May 10, 2012

 

The Honorable Hillary Clinton
Secretary of State
2201 C Street, NW
Washington, DC 20520

Dear Secretary Clinton:

We write to urge the State Department to immediately designate the Haqqani Network as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO). 

Last week, our travel  to Afghanistan for meetings with President Karzai, Ambassador Crocker, General Allen, and many military, intelligence, and State Department officers serving in Afghanistan reaffirmed concerns substantiated by intelligence and our oversight work.  It was clear that the Haqqani Network continues to launch sensational and indiscriminate attacks against U.S. interests in Afghanistan and the group poses a continuing threat to innocent men, women, and children in the region. 

There is no question that the Haqqani Network meets the following criteria for FTO designation specified in Section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act:

(1)     The organization is foreign;
(2)     The organization engages in terrorist activity; and
(3)     The terrorist activity threatens the security of United States citizens or the national security of the United States.

On November 1, 2011, the State Department wrote that it was engaged in the “final formal review” on whether to designate the group as a FTO.  Six months have now passed, and the Haqqanis have continued to attack U.S. troops and the U.S. Embassy in Kabul during that period.

We understand there may have been reluctance within the Administration to designate the Haqqani Network while Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Marc Grossman attempted to negotiate a reconciliation agreement with the Taliban—a deal that may have included or affected the Haqqani Network.  However, Ambassador Crocker told us last week that there have been no such talks since late last year, and that President Karzai has opposed their continuation.

Without commenting on the appropriateness of any such agreement,  it is clear that there is now no reason not to designate the Haqqani Network as a Foreign Terrorist Organization, and urge such action immediately

Thank you very much for your attention to this matter.  We look forward to receiving your written response. 

 

Sincerely yours,

 

____________________                                                        ____________________

Dianne Feinstein                                                                     Mike Rogers
Chairman, SSCI                                                                      Chairman, HPSCI

____________________                                                        ____________________

Saxby Chambliss                                                                   C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger
Vice Chairman, SSCI                                                            Ranking Member, HPSCI

 

cc:       Mr. Tom Donilon, Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs

 

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