The Stop Arming Terrorists Act (SATA) has been introduced today in the House of Representatives by Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D – HI). The bill is a bipartisan effort, co-sponsored by Reps. Peter Welch (D – VT), Barbara Lee (D – CA), Dana Rohrabacher (R – CA), and Thomas Massie (R – KY) which would forbid the US government from using taxpayer dollars to arm, fund, or train terrorist organizations.
Rep. Gabbard noted that it has been against the law for years for individual Americans to fund terrorist organizations, but that the US has been routinely doing so for years in Syria, providing arms to many terrorist-linked groups within Syria’s rebellion.
The bill appears aimed primarily at ending the CIA program smuggling arms to Syrian rebels, something President-elect Donald Trump has also expressed support for. The bill singles out ISIS, al-Qaeda, and Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (the “rebranded” version of al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front) and forbids support to them, their allies, or foreign nations who are themselves providing support for the groups.
The part prohibiting funding of foreign nations involved in backing the groups could be hugely impactful, as it would include nations like Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey, which have openly backed a number of the rebel groups targeted.
SATA would compel the Director of National Intelligence to provide a list of all the groups affiliated with or cooperating with those three organizations, as well as the countries providing assistance to them to several House committees. This could potentially be an obstacle as reports have suggested Trump does not intend to appoint a Director of National Intelligence.