WASHINGTON - Four senators are seeking to force the Obama administration to blacklist the Pakistani Taliban, a day after the failed Times Square bomber pleaded guilty and admitted getting training from the group.
The senators, all from New York and New Jersey, said yesterday they would introduce a bill requiring the State Department to designate the Pakistani Taliban a "foreign terrorist organization." "Now that the Times Square terrorist has pleaded guilty in court, it is time to take the next step by confronting the organization that aided and abetted him," Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said in a statement.
Schumer, along with Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), wrote to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in May asking that the Pakistani Taliban be added to the list. At the time, the State Department said it was reviewing such a step but had not made a decision.
Yesterday, department spokesman P.J. Crowley said that review was nearly complete and told reporters that he did not believe the legislation was necessary. Inclusion on the list, which now contains 45 organizations, freezes a group's assets in the United States and imposes travel and financial sanctions on its members.
Faisal Shahzad, a naturalized U.S. citizen, said he received five days' training in explosives techniques from the Taliban in the Waziristan region before returning to the United States in February to pursue a one-man scheme to detonate a car bomb in Manhattan. - AP