Florida Reps. Jared Moskowitz (D) and Mike Waltz (R) are calling on the Biden administration to designate the Yemeni Houthis as a foreign terrorist organization (FTO). The lawmakers directed a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, and the effort has received support from a bipartisan group of lawmakers.
The Houthis were delisted as a foreign terrorist organization, and since being delisted, the organization has continued to commit terrorist attacks.
Yahya Saree, the spokesman for the Yemeni Houthis, most recently announced that the organization has conducted three attacks on Israel since the war between Hamas and Israel began. Saree said that the Houthis have launched a “large number” of missiles and drones at Israel.
With the backing of 47 members of Congress, the lawmakers are now calling on Secretary Blinken to re-designate the Houthis as an FTO.
In the letter, the lawmakers explain that the Houthis were designated as an FTO on January 19, 2021. However, “this decision was subsequently reversed by the U.S. State Department on February 4, 2021, amidst the announcement of a new strategy towards Yemen.”
The Houthis still continued to engage in terrorist attacks, and with the Hamas attack on October 7th, “the Houthis has decisively intervened in Israel’s conflict on behalf of Hamas.”
“As this conflict between Israel and Hamas intensifies, the Administration must use every tool available to ensure that the utilization of U.S. military assets remains a last resort,” the lawmakers write, adding that designating the Houthis as an FTO would serve two purposes.
“First, it criminalizes providing materiel assistance and other supporting activities to the terrorist group. Second, it prevents individuals of the terrorist group from entering the United States through Section 1182 of the Immigration and Nationality Act.”
By designating the Houthis as an FTO, Moskowitz and Waltz hope that this will prevent them from acquiring weapons of war like missiles.