Skip to main content
Tags: houthis | foreign terrorist organization | state department | middle east | red sea | shipping | attacks

WH Declines to Designate Houthis as Foreign Terrorist Organization

By    |   Wednesday, 17 January 2024 01:48 PM EST

President Joe Biden's administration declined to designate the Yemen-based Houthis as a Foreign Terrorist Organization despite their recent attacks on U.S. troops and shipping in the Red Sea.

"The Iran-backed Houthi rebels are an extremist terrorist organization backed by the world's leading state-sponsor of terrorism," House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., said.

"The Houthis are seeking to disrupt the international economic system, attacking civilian commercial ships, including American vessels, in the Red Sea, and launching rockets at American military service members. If this isn't the definition of a Foreign Terrorist Organization, I don't know what it is."

Instead, the U.S. State Department on Wednesday designated Ansarallah, commonly referred to as the Houthis, as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) group in 30 days unless it ceases its aggressions in the Red Sea.

"The Houthis must be held accountable for their actions, but it should not be at the expense of Yemeni civilians," Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced in a press release.

After saying the Houthis' attacks "fit the textbook definition of terrorism," national security adviser Jake Sullivan added the SDGT designation "is an important tool to impede terrorist funding to the Houthis, further restrict their access to financial markets, and hold them accountable for their actions."

Not everyone agreed with the administration's choice.

"Come on Jake. As the President's National Security Advisor you know better," former acting national security adviser Keith Kellogg posted on X.

"Designating the Houti's as a 'specially designated global terrorist (SDGT)' organization is NOT the same as designating them a 'Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO)'. It is MUCH the lesser of the two."

Gabriel Noronha, a former State Department adviser on Iran, agreed.

"After dozens of Houthi terror attacks, the Biden admin will re-sanction the group – but won't put them on the FTO list," Noronha posted on X.

"Which means: 1. Houthis can still get US visas; 2. Not a criminal penalty to support them; 3. US banks don't have to seize their funds."

The SDGT designation is different from an FTO in that it carries different implications for the potential delivery of humanitarian aid, CBS News reported. An FTO can trigger sanctions for those who provide "material support" to a designated group.

Also, only an FTO designation imposes a travel ban on members of the group, CNN reported.

The State Department's announcement would reverse part of a Biden administration decision in February 2021 to remove the FTO designation that had been applied by the Trump administration a month earlier.

In November, Sens. Bill Cassidy, R-La., Bill Hagerty, R-Tenn., and 13 GOP colleagues urged the State Department to redesignate Ansarallah as an FTO.

"Re-designating the Houthis as an FTO would send a powerful message that the United States views this group as a clear threat to our Allies and partners and to regional stability in the Middle East," the senators wrote then.

"Since Hamas' savage terrorist attacks on Israel on Oct. 7, the Houthis have launched three attacks against the Jewish state and promised to carry out more strikes 'until the Israeli aggression stops.'"

Charlie McCarthy

Charlie McCarthy, a writer/editor at Newsmax, has nearly 40 years of experience covering news, sports, and politics.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


US
President Joe Biden's administration declined to designate the Yemen-based Houthis as a Foreign Terrorist Organization despite their recent attacks on U.S. troops and shipping in the Red Sea.
houthis, foreign terrorist organization, state department, middle east, red sea, shipping, attacks
514
2024-48-17
Wednesday, 17 January 2024 01:48 PM
Newsmax Media, Inc.

Sign up for Newsmax’s Daily Newsletter

Receive breaking news and original analysis - sent right to your inbox.

(Optional for Local News)
Privacy: We never share your email address.
Join the Newsmax Community
Read and Post Comments
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
 
TOP

Interest-Based Advertising | Do not sell or share my personal information

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
Download the NewsmaxTV App
Get the NewsmaxTV App for iOS Get the NewsmaxTV App for Android Scan QR code to get the NewsmaxTV App
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved