WASHINGTON D.C.: Days after scrapping a potential deal with the Afghan Taliban, United States President Donald Trump on Tuesday issued an executive order labelling 11 individuals, including Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan chief Mufti Noor Wali Mehsud, as “global terrorists”.
The decision to expand the administration’s ability to go after suspected terrorists and their financiers and supporters came as the US marked the anniversary of 9/11 attacks, wherein at least 3,000 people were killed.
The list of 11 men the administration has termed as “global terrorists” includes Noor Wali, also known as Mufti Noor Wali Mehsud — who was named the leader of Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in June 2018 following the death of former TTP leader Mullah Fazlullah.
“Today’s executive order by President Trump adds further muscle to US counterterrorism efforts,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said during a briefing to reporters at the White House.
He said Trump’s action amends an earlier executive order that former President George W. Bush initially signed after 9/11 by adding clauses to let the State and Treasury departments directly target leaders of suspected terror groups and their affiliates “without having to tie terrorist leaders to specific acts.”
Pompeo said the order also more effectively targets individuals and groups participating in terrorist training and provides new authorities to impose sanctions on foreign financial institutions that knowingly do business with suspected terrorists.
Eric Lorber, a former Treasury Department senior adviser, said the new order is a “significant change.”
“While most financial institutions would not have done business with designated terrorists even before this new authority, this action makes clear that the US Treasury is willing to take serious steps to punish those financial institutions that do,” Lorber said.
Using the new order, Treasury on Tuesday imposed sanctions on more than two dozen individuals and entities from 11 terrorist groups, including TTP, the Quds Force, the foreign wing of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, Hamas, the Islamic State, al-Qaida and their affiliates.