By Susan Falvella Garraty
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft has added two loyalist paramilitary groups to Washington’s A-list list of active global terrorist groups.
Ashcroft placed the groups directly in the center of a list that includes notorious Afghan and Middle Eastern terrorist organizations.
The Loyalist Volunteer Force and the Ulster Defense Association/Ulster Freedom Fighters joined the likes of Afghan Support Committee and the Revival of Islamic Heritage Society on a list that prohibits any non-citizen members from entering the United States and provides for sanctions against Americans who have contact with or give support to the groups.
Earlier on Monday, the Ulster Freedom Fighters admitted to the murder of a 19-year-old Catholic teenager, Gerard Lawlor, in North Belfast on Sunday.
The Ulster Freedom Fighters is a cover name for the UDA.
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Designating the newly added groups as terrorist organizations would help secure U.S. borders against those who would come to the United States to commit terrorist acts or to raise funds to finance terrorist operations, Ashcroft said.
One Republican terror group, the Real IRA, is already on the Justice Department’s list of 39 Designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations.
The Provisional IRA is not on the list because of its cease-fire.