Steube Leads Over 60 Republicans in Bill to Counter Iranian-Backed Terrorists

Steube Leads Over 60 Republicans in Bill to Counter Iranian-Backed Terrorists

Mateo Guillamont
Mateo Guillamont
April 19, 2024

US Representative Gregory Steube (R-FL) filed a bill earlier to designate eleven Iranian-backed militias as Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs) and sanction them appropriately. 

The bill comes after Iran launched sundry drones and missiles at Israel in response to the latter’s strike on the former’s embassy in Syria. 

Representative Steube’s bill would assign FTO designations to militias partly or fully funded by Iran that have targeted and attacked American assets and personnel. 

The FTO designees would include militias who attacked the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, those who attacked US troops in Iraq, and those who attacked and killed US troops in Jordan.

Some of the most infamous designees are Abu Fadl al-Abbas Brigades, Ansarallah (otherwise known as the ‘‘Houthis’’), Badr Organization, Fatemiyoun Brigade, and Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba. 

If Steube’s bill passes, President Joe Biden’s decision to delist the Houthis as an FTO would be reversed. 

President Biden removed the Houthis’ FTO designation on February 12, 2021, alleging the designation “could have a devastating impact on Yemenis’ access to basic commodities like food and fuel.”

However, following Israel’s military response to Hamas’ October 7th attacks, the Houthis have incessantly targeted Western military and civilian assets throughout the Red Sea. 

For months, the Houthis have fired hundreds of rockets at commercial and military ships traversing the Red Sea, even hijacking some.

Most recently, U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM) forces intercepted two Houthi unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) aimed at U.S., coalition, and merchant vessels in the region. 

Given the Houthis’ continued attacks, Biden designated the group as a “Specially Designated Global Terrorist group.”

Steube rejected Biden’s foreign diplomacy with the Houthis, claiming Biden’s strategy demonstrates weakness and undue favor towards Houthi interests. 

“Iran is clearly emboldened by the Biden administration’s weakness,” said Steube. “Washington has failed to designate most of the Iranian-backed militias as Foreign Terrorist Organizations. No more excuses. We must combat terrorism with boldness and strength. 

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Mateo Guillamont

Mateo Guillamont

Mateo is a Miami-based political reporter covering national and local politics

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