The Syrian branch of al-Qaeda changed its name to Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), and is now officially removed from the U.S. and Canadian terror watchlists.
Now, the U.S. and Canada can donate money and weapons to the terrorists, and can even go fight with them against the Syrian government and spread their propaganda.
It turns out that getting off the U.S.’ and Canada’s terror watchlist is as simple as changing your name. While the terror watchlist in the U.S. has long been both secretive and controversial – as “reasonable suspicion” is enough to label any individual a “terrorist” – terrorist groups tied to al-Qaeda have found that getting off the watchlist only requires minor rebranding, reported Mint Press News.
The terror group, formerly known as Jabhat al-Nusra or the al-Nusra Front, has operated as al-Qaeda’s branch in Syria long after Daesh (ISIS) renounced its allegiance to the group in 2014. It was first placed on the U.S. and Canadian terror watchlists in 2012.
Simply by changing its name to Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), the group is no longer on terror watchlists in the U.S. or Canada, allowing citizens of those countries to donate money to the group, travel to fight with them and disseminate the group’s propaganda without incident.