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Pakistani Taliban formally branded a terrorist group

The Pakistani Taliban is now officially a foreign terrorist organization in the eyes of the U.S. government.

The group is widely regarded as a terrorist threat in Pakistan but was not formally seen as such by Washington, at least not in the legal sense. But on Wednesday, the State Department said it had identified the group, also known as Tehrik-e-Taliban, or TTP, as a "foreign terrorist organization," a designation that makes it a crime to provide support to the group and freezes the financial accounts of members in U.S. financial institutions.

In a notice the Federal Register, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Cllinton also named the group's leaders, Hakimullah Mehsud and Wali Ur Rehman, as "specially designated global terrorists," allowing the State and Treasury departments to levy additional sanctions on them.

For years, the TTP focused exclusively on attacking Pakistani government, military and civilian targets. But it has recently set its sights beyond Pakistan's borders. In May, following the attempted bombing in Times Square, the Obama administration blamed TTP for sponsoring the failed attack.

At the time, Attorney General Eric H. Holder said the TTP had taken on "a new significance in our anti-terror fight."

Lawmakers had urged the Obama administration to move quickly to add the Pakistani Taliban to its list of terrorist organizations. The State Department said it had been considering adding the group even before the failed attack on Times Square but that it needed more time for the review process.

By Jason Ukman  | September 1, 2010; 12:01 PM ET
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Thank you, Wikileaks!

Posted by: mcbobbo | September 1, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Thats a good start , here is map for peace in that region..

Posted by: deridemender | September 2, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Upon spending HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS of dollars the U.S. has decided Paky Taliban is terrorist?

I bow before the stunning achievement and insightful recognition. What brainiacs!

Posted by: wapoexile | September 5, 2010 8:14 PM | Report abuse

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