A group of senators urged the administration today to add the Pakistani Taliban to the State Department's official terrorist list.
The State Department currently lists 45 official foreign terrorist organizations, including Hamas and al Qaeda. Adding a group to the list gives the administration the ability to clamp down on its finances and prosecute individuals who provide the group with material assistance.
The senators say that the Pakistani Taliban should be added as well now that the Justice Department has concluded the group trained the Times Square bomber.
"I was shocked to learn the group was ommitted from the list, especially in the wake of the Times Square incident," said Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y).
Schumer, along with with Sens. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Bob Menendez (D-N.Y.) and Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), penned a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton today urging her to add the Pakistani Taliban to the list.
"Designating the Pakistani Talbian as a foreign terrorist organization would be an effective means of curtailing support for their terrorist activities and pressuring other groups to withdraw their logistical, financial and political support for this terrorist organization," they wrote.
Schumer noted that the Pakistani government's opposition to the designation may be causing the State Department to hestitate.
"There has been speculation, and I don't know if this is within the State Department, that Pakistan itself might not like this to happen," he said. But after the failed Times Square attack, "I don't think there's much choice."
Schumer said it was understandable that the Afghan Taliban is not included, since "we're actively engaged in a campaign to win hearts and minds in that country" and "the threat posted by that group is so far contained to Afghanistan."