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Senators bring bill to designate Pak Taliban as terror outfit

A group of US senators today introduced a legislation in the Senate to brand the Pakistani Taliban, linked to the botched Times Square bombing attempt, as a foreign terrorist organisation.

world Updated: Jun 23, 2010 13:19 IST

A group of US senators on Wednesday introduced a legislation in the Senate to brand the Pakistani Taliban, linked to the botched Times Square bombing attempt, as a foreign terrorist organisation.

Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) is so far not listed as a terror group by the US State Department.

The four powerful Senators, who introduced the bill in the Senate, said that it has become very urgent that TTP be declared a foreign terrorist organisation in the after math of Faisal Shahzad, the Times Square bomb suspect, pleading guilty and conceding the role of Pakistani Taliban in the planning and execution of the entire failed attack.

"It's time to turn up the heat on this terrorist organisation, and the FTO gives us a quick, ready and proven way to do it," said Senator Charles Schumer at a news conference soon after the legislation was introduced in the Senate.

Other Congressmen who co-sponsored the legislation were Robert Menendez, Kirsten Gillibrand and Frank R Lautenberg.

Designating the Pakistani Taliban as an FTO is more essential than ever, Schumer argued and hoped that the State Department will speed up the process in this regard.

"For years, the Pakistani Taliban has been plotting and scheming against the US. We know they run active training camps where people, including Shahzad, learn how to carry out terrorist attacks. They've publicly committed to killing Americans. In a video that surfaced in April, they pledged to make the US and its cities their main target," he said.

"Now that the Times Square terrorist has pleaded guilty in court, it's time to take the next step, by confronting the organization that aided and abetted him. This group poses an existential threat to the safety of not only our soldiers fighting abroad, but also to American citizens here at home. It's time we dealt with this terrorist organization with every tool at our disposal," Schumer said.

Observing that the Obama administration is determined to disrupt, dismantle and defeat terrorist networks abroad; he said passing this legislation is essential to protecting Americans at home and abroad and to destabilizing the Pakistani Taliban.

Menendez said the Times Square investigation has proved that Pakistani Taliban has operational capacity to launch terrorist attack into the US.