Foreign Terrorist Organizations and the Listing Process in a Post-9/11 Context
33 Pages Posted: 21 Feb 2007
Date Written: March 28, 2005
There are many counterterrorism tools at the disposal of the U.S. government. Yet, as with many of the quivers in the foreign policy arsenal, the proof of policy efficacy lies in follow-through, consistency, or oversight and more basic than "connecting dots" on assumptions developed on collected and analyzed data. It has to do with policy-makers and executive branch officials implementing and following the legal parameters established through the rigorous legislative and administrative processes that our federal system does so well and that the courts uphold.
This paper reviews a policy tool in the counterterrorism effort: the targeting, identification, and listing of individuals and groups involved, or suspected of involvement, in terror-related activities. It advances that the listing process is an important legal and symbolic tool in the war effort that must be enhanced to better deal with post-9/11/01 realities.
As a result of the seemingly disheveled process with regards to the MEK and its ancillary organizations, it appears that the matter might once again be headed to our federal courts. The question will probably posed shall be: How can the MEK and ancillary organizations remain on the FTO list if it has been under DoD protection since 2003? While there could be colorable due process arguments raised with regards to U.S. citizens in the camps, and there are a few Americans in those camps, the suit could once again afford an FTO a forum to raise issues against a state sponsor of terror, Iran. This gives a new meaning to the enemy of my enemy is my friend (MEK v. Iran equals good for U.S. interests?).
The country has entered a phase of more acute conflict and engagement as the U.S. takes necessary efforts to hold state and non-state actors accountable for acts of terror and prevent and minimize the impact of future attacks. The federal government needs to organize itself and enforce a structure that is responsive to our needs today and beyond. A robust listing process should be part of the regime as it is an important legal and symbolic tool in the war effort that must be enhanced to better deal with post-9/11/01 realities.
Keywords: counterterrorism, terrorism, war on terror, terror watch lists, MEK, NCRI , Iran
JEL Classification: H56, N40, N4, N85, K23, K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation