- President Donald Trump said in an interview with conservative media personality Bill O’Reilly that he would designate Mexican drug cartels as terror groups.
- “I don’t want to say what I’m going to do, but they will be designated,” Trump responded. “I have been working on that for the last 90 days.
- Designating cartels as terror groups would ban then from entering the US and would allow the Secretary of the Treasury to freeze the group’s assets.
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President Donald Trump said he would designate drug cartels as terror groups, though he declined to say what action he would take against them once the declaration was made.
In an interview with disgraced former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, which aired Tuesday, Trump said he was working on getting drug cartels deemed Foreign Terrorist Organisation (FTO), which would ban certain groups from entering the US and would allow the Secretary of the Treasury to freeze the group’s assets.
“Are you going to designate those cartels in Mexico as terror groups and start hitting them with drones and things like that?” O’Reilly asked.
“I don’t want to say what I’m going to do, but they will be designated,” Trump responded.
“I have been working on that for the last 90 days. You know, designation is not that easy, you have to go through a process, and we are well into that process,” he added.
Entities placed on the FTO list are suspected of engaging in terror activities. In order to designate the group as a terror organisation, the Secretary of State must demonstrate three criteria, which include that the group is foreign, engaging or planning to engage in terrorism, and threatens the security or economic interests of the US.
Earlier this year, The State Department also added the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, a branch of the Iranian armed forces, to the FTO list, which includes other groups such as Lebanon’s Hezbollah, Palestine’s Hamas, and 67 other groups.
Mexico’s foreign minister said he did not expect the US to follow through with the action, according to Reuters.
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