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Joe Biden: Decision to Delist Houthis as Terrorists ‘Irrelevant’

via CNN
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President Biden dismissed the decision to remove the Yemeni Houthi terrorist group from the State Department’s list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations as “irrelevant,” despite acknowledging that he believes the Houthis meet the definition of a terrorist organization.

The Houthis have disrupted global trade by targeting commercial ships, resulting in a significant drop in container ship traffic through the Red Sea and a substantial increase in shipping costs.

The Houthi slogan is “Allahu Akbar, Death to America, Death to Israel, Curse on the Jews, Victory to Islam.” (Trending: Hunter Biden’s Art Scheme Exposed By GOP Probe)

The group, with close ties to Iran, launched an overthrow of the Yemeni government in 2014, leading to an ongoing civil war.

The Biden administration’s removal of the Houthis from the FTO list has sparked controversy, with concerns raised about the potential consequences of allowing them access to the global banking system and freedom of travel.

“How soon are you [Biden] willing to designate them as such?” one reporter asked.

“It’s irrelevant whether they’re designated,” Biden said. “We’ve put together a group of nations that are going to say that if they continue to act and behave as they do, we’ll respond.”

“We are reviewing the FTO — Foreign Terrorist Organization — finding on the Houthis. As you know, we — we delisted them,” John Kirby said, “And we have announced that we’re reviewing that — that decision right now. No decisions have been made yet.”

“In this administration alone, we’ve issued some 500 sanctions again- — I mean, against 500 entities, 50 sanction regimes.”

“We’ll continue to work with our partners, you know, to make sure that we’re doing everything we can to dissuade these destabili- — these destabilizing behaviors by Iran,” he added.

“The United States remains clear-eyed about Ansarallah’s [the Houthis’ formal name] malign actions, and aggression,” Antony Blinken said, “including taking control of large areas of Yemen by force, attacking U.S. partners in the Gulf, kidnapping and torturing citizens of the United States and many of our allies,” and other attacks.

“FTO designations play a critical role in our fight against terrorism and are an effective means of curtailing support for terrorist activities and pressuring groups to get out of the terrorism business,” the State Department wrote.

“When you remove the designation, like the Biden administration did, you allow them access to the global banking system, you allow them to travel freely, you allow them to engage in business with our allies,” Former Pentagon chief of staff Kash Patel said. “So you allow them to get money, get funded. You allow Iran to pay them, and we don’t have a recourse.”

“Since they’re not a designated terrorist organization, operationally and intelligence-wise, they’re not a priority to take out, they’re not a priority for intelligence collection purposes,” Patel added.

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