Wagner Group of mercenaries: Why Joe Biden and US Congress are at odds over designating it a ‘terrorist’ group

Source: The post is based on the article “Wagner Group of mercenaries: Why Joe Biden and US Congress are at odds over designating it a ‘terrorist’ group” published in Indian Express on 14th March 2023

What is the News?

Tensions are escalating between the United States President and the US Congress as they debate over designating the Wagner Group — a shadowy private militia believed to be fighting for Russia against Ukraine in the ongoing battle between the two countries as a Foreign Terrorist Organization(FTO).

What is Foreign Terrorist Organization(FTO) designation by the US?

FTO is a designation for non-US organizations that are deemed to be involved in terrorist activities. 

According to Section 219 of the US Immigration and Nationality Act, the Secretary of State can designate an organization as a foreign terrorist organization if the Secretary finds that 1) the organization is a foreign organization; 2) the organization engages in terrorist activity or terrorism or 3) threatens the security of United States nationals or the national security of the United States.

What happens once an organization is designated as FTO?

Once an organization is labelled as an FTO, it is unlawful for a person in the United States or subject to the jurisdiction of the United States to knowingly provide material support or resources to it. 

Members and representatives of an FTO are inadmissible to the US and in certain circumstances, removable from the United States. 

Moreover, the funds of an FTO must be frozen and reported to the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the US Department of the Treasury.

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