World / Trump issues new executive order to combat terrorism

The Hindu : Sep 11, 2019, 10:53 AM

US President Donald Trump has issued a new executive order that would enhance the country’s ability to target terrorists and those who finance their activities, as well as identify, sanction and deter perpetrators of terrorism worldwide.

Utilising the new order, issued on the eve of the 9/11 anniversary on Tuesday, the Treasury sanctioned over two dozen individuals and entities from 11 terrorist groups, including Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan.

It allows the US government to better target terror group leaders and provides new tools to pursue individuals who participate in terrorist training, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said.

The executive order also authorises secondary sanctions on foreign financial institutions that have knowingly conducted or facilitated significant transactions with sanctioned persons, Mnuchin said. He added that the order targets those actors for and behalf of specially-designated global terrorists.

“Specifically, we have leaders, operative and financiers from over 11 terrorist organisations, including Iran’s Quds Forces, Hamas, ISIS, Al Qaeda, and their affiliates,” Mnuchin told White House reporters at a joint news conference with the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

“The government has taken more action than we ever have before,” the treasury secretary said, asserting that his department was enhancing efforts to deny terrorist access to the financial system.

Pompeo, meanwhile, described the executive order as the “most-significant update” to counterterrorism sanctions authority since September 2001.

According to Pompeo, the new order amends the previous one by adding clauses that allow the departments of state and treasury to directly target leaders of terrorist groups and their associated entities without having to tie terrorist leaders to specific acts.

“Second, it is more effectively and efficiently targets individuals and entities who participate in terrorist training and provides new authorities to impose sanctions on foreign financial institutions that knowingly do business with terrorists,” the secretary of state said.

“As these actions show, today’s executive order by President Trump adds further muscle to the US counterterrorism efforts,” Pompeo said.

“It will help us to ensure that the deadly attacks of September 11 that occurred 18 years ago this week are never repeated on American soil. Never.”