NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!
President Joe Biden’s administration is set to remove five extremist groups from its foreign terrorist blacklist.
Each of the groups is now considered defunct, and Secretary of State Tony Blinken notified Congress of the removals on Friday, according to a copy of the document independently obtained by Fox News Digital.
The groups include Basque Fatherland and Liberty, also known as ETA; Aum Shinrikyo, a Japanese doomsday cult; Kahane Kach, a radical Orthodox Jewish group, as well as two Islamic groups, the Mujahideen Shura Council in the Environs of Jerusalem, and Gama’a al-Islamiyya, according to the notification.
The removal comes as the Biden administration faces criticism for considering the removal of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) from the blacklist as part of nuclear deal negotiations.
“The Biden administration dragged out briefings about this for months, then went radio silent, then quietly rushed it through hoping no one would notice until it was a done deal,” a senior Republican congressional aide familiar with the notification told Fox Digital of Friday’s move. “Republicans on the Hill believe this was a dress rehearsal for trying to remove terrorism sanctions on the IRGC.”
Returning to President Barack Obama’s nuclear deal has been a top foreign policy priority for the Biden administration. There has been little progress on the issue, however, and reports suggested the administration may be considering removing the IRGC from the list.
The IRGC is directly responsible for the killings of roughly 600 U.S. military members and remains an active terror group, according to a group of 46 retired U.S. generals who publicly urged the Biden administration not to remove the group from the blacklist in April.