US Congress has voted to amend the Counterterrorism Screening and Assistance Act of 2017, to impose more sanctions on Hezbollah militias, the Daily Star news reported.
The amendment put forward by Rep. Lee Zeldin – who is also one of the three members of Congress introduced the original bill – comes on the heels of a Homeland Security report highlighting the need for the US to assist foreign partners in closing security gaps that may allow “terrorists and foreign fighters to travel internationally”.
The provisions included in the amendment focus on the development of a “foreign partner engagement plan that catalogs existing capacity-building initiatives abroad to combat travel by terrorists and foreign fighters and identifies areas for adjustment,” the amendment stated.
This includes an assessment of the “countries of greatest concern and risk for travel to the US by members of foreign terrorist organizations and foreign fighters.”
This includes an assessment of the number of flights that originate from last points of departure in each country to the US as denial rates of visa waiver program status or visa applications for each country.
The plan will also include an assessment of countries towards which US assistance should be prioritized for the purpose of curbing security gaps. “The Secretary of Homeland Security is authorized to provide, with or without reimbursement, excess nonlethal equipment, and supplies owned by the Department of Homeland Security to a foreign government,” the amendment stated.