BY ROBERT SPENCER
republished below in full unedited for informational, educational & research purposes:
This may in part be a belated face-saving measure for the Obama administration wonks who allowed Gama’a al-Islamiyya member Hani Nour Eldin into the White House and State Department for “high-level meetings” in 2012. Remove Gama’a al-Islamiyya from the terror list, and the embarrassment goes away.
“The US set to remove 5 groups from foreign terrorism blacklist,” Associated Press, May 15, 2022
BERLIN (AP) — The United States is poised to remove five extremist groups, all believed to be defunct, from its list of foreign terrorist organizations, including several that once posed significant threats, killing hundreds if not thousands of people across Asia, Europe and the Middle East.
Although the groups are inactive, the decision is politically sensitive for the Biden administration and the countries in which the organizations operated, and could draw criticism from victims and their families still dealing with the losses of loved ones….
The U.S. State Department notified Congress on Friday of the moves, which come at the same time as an increasingly divisive but unrelated debate in Washington and elsewhere about whether Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard should or can be legally removed from the U.S. list as part of efforts to salvage the languishing Iran nuclear deal.
That designation, which was imposed by the Trump administration, was not mentioned in Friday’s notifications….
The groups to be removed are:
— Aum Shinrikyo (AUM), the Japanese “Supreme Truth” cult that carried out the deadly sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway in 1995 that killed 13 people and sickened hundreds more. The group has been considered largely defunct since the executions of its top echelons, including leader Shoko Asahara, in 2018. It was designated a foreign terrorist organization in 1997.
— Basque Fatherland and Liberty, or ETA, which ran a separatist campaign of bombings and assassinations in northern Spain and elsewhere for decades that killed more than 800 people and wounded thousands more, until declaring a cease-fire in 2010 and disbanding after the arrests and trials of its last leaders in 2018. It was designated a foreign terrorist organization in 1997.
— Kahane Chai, or Kach. The radical Orthodox Jewish group was founded by ultranationalist Israeli Rabbi Meir Kahane in 1971. He led the group until his assassination in 1990. Members of the group have killed, attacked or otherwise threatened or harassed Arabs, Palestinians and Israeli government officials, but the organization has been dormant since 2005. The group was first designated in 1997.
— The Mujahidin Shura Council in the Environs of Jerusalem, an umbrella group of several jihadist organizations based in Gaza that has claimed responsibility for numerous rocket and other attacks on Israel since its founding in 2012. The council was first designated in 2014.
— Gama’a al-Islamiyya, or Islamic Group–IG, an Egyptian Sunni Islamist movement that fought to topple Egypt’s government during the 1990s. It conducted hundreds of deadly attacks against the police and security forces as well as tourists. The group was first designated in 1997.
The State Department said on Sunday that Blinken was required by law to revoke the designations if the groups no longer met the legal criteria.
Speaking of the Kahane Chai group, the department said it had not been linked to a terrorist attack since 2005. It also said the Mujahidin Shura Council has not claimed an attack since 2013….