U.S. to Return Houthis to Terrorism List

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The Biden administration plans to designate Yemen’s Houthi militia as a terrorist organization, partly reimposing penalties it lifted nearly three years ago on an Iran-backed group whose attacks on Red Sea shipping traffic have drawn a U.S. military response.

Beginning in mid-February, the United States will consider the Houthis a “specially designated global terrorist” group, according to a U.S. official, blocking its access to the global financial system, among other penalties. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a policy that had not yet been officially announced.

But Biden officials stopped short of applying a second, more severe designation — that of “foreign terrorist organization” — which the Trump administration imposed on the Houthis in its final days. The State Department revoked both designations shortly after President Biden took office in early 2021.

That further step would have made it far easier to prosecute criminally anyone who knowingly provides the Houthis with money, supplies, training or other “material support.” But aid groups say it could also complicate humanitarian assistance to the country.

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U.S. to Return Houthis to Terrorism List

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