U.S. law has clear and effective provisions against terrorist organizations and their online activities, naming certain groups “Foreign Terrorist Organizations” (FTOs) and certain individuals “Specially Designated Terrorists” (SDTs) or “Specially Designated Global Terrorists” (SDGTs). The list of designated organizations and individuals is updated regularly, and made available to the public. These designations have legal consequences. For example, Section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act states that it is unlawful to provide a designated FTO with “material support or resources,” including “any property, tangible or intangible, or services” – among them “communication equipment and facilities.”
Hizbullah – A U.S. Government Designated FTO And SDGT
The Lebanese-based Shi’ite terrorist organization Hizbullah was designated a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) on October 11, 2005 by the U.S. State Department. It was previously designated an FTO in 1999, but the designation was rescinded in 2001, after it denounced the 9/11 attacks.
Hizbullah’s Al-Manar TV was separately designated a SDGT by the U.S. State Department on March 23, 2006, due to the fact that it was “owned or controlled by the Iran-funded Hizbullah terrorist network,” having been placed on a U.S. list of terrorist organizations in 2004. On March 23, 2006, the U.S. Treasury Department likewise designated Al-Manar separately as a global terrorist entity, pursuant to Executive Order 13224, citing earlier U.S. laws against Al-Manar which it called “the media arm of Hizbullah.”
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