Wednesday, March 11, 2009

FMLN support for Al Qaeda noted

The Salvadoran presidential elections have focused new attention on the FMLN's support for Al Qaeda's attacks on the United States in 2001.

"Four days after 9/11, the FMLN had a march in their capital city to celebrate the attack by Al Qaeda and to burn the American flag," said Congressman Paul Broun of Georgia in a statement on the House floor. "The leader of that march was Salvador Sanchez Ceren, who today is the FMLN's candidate for vice president.

"The FMLN political party in El Salvador supports designated terrorist organizations, such as the FARC [of Colombia], and state sponsors of terror such as Iran and Cuba," said Broun, a former Marine.

American lawmakers are worried that if Salvadorans vote to install a pro-terrorist government, the US will have to invoke existing counterterrorism policies that will have a detrimental effect on the population. El Salvador is a long-standing American ally.

"The FMLN has a long history of hostility towards us," said Broun. "Under current law, the election of a pro-terrorism party in El Salvador would have real consequences. Since the 9/11 attacks, the US has enacted stronger tools to fight terrorism and those who funnel money to support it.

"I want to make clear that these actions would not be punitive; they are not meant to chastise Salvadorans, but the US will not aid sponsors of terrorism," the Georgia lawmaker said. "We have an obligation to protect the US and our citizens against those seeking to do us harm."

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