Trump issues revised order to counter terrorism

WASHINGTON (AP) — A day before the anniversary of 9/11, President Donald Trump on Tuesday issued an executive order to expand the administration's ability to go after suspected terrorists and their financiers and supporters.

"Today's executive order by President Trump adds further muscle to U.S. counterterrorism efforts," Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said during a briefing to reporters at the White House.

He said Trump's action amends an earlier executive order that former President George W. Bush initially signed after 9/11 by adding clauses to let the State and Treasury departments directly target leaders of suspected terror groups and their affiliates "without having to tie terrorist leaders to specific acts."

Pompeo said the order also more effectively targets individuals and groups participating in terrorist training and provides new authorities to impose sanctions on foreign financial institutions that knowingly do business with suspected terrorists.

Eric Lorber, a former Treasury Department senior adviser, said the new order is a "significant change."

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Barack Obama primetime address on terrorism 12/6
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Barack Obama primetime address on terrorism 12/6
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 6: U.S. President Barack Obama addresses the country from the Oval Office on December 6, 2015 in Washington, DC. President Obama is addressing the terrorism threat to the United States and the recent attack in San Bernardino, California. (Photo by Saul Loeb-Pool/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 6: U.S. President Barack Obama addresses the country from the Oval Office on December 6, 2015 in Washington, DC. President Obama is addressing the terrorism threat to the United States and the recent attack in San Bernardino, California. (Photo by Saul Loeb-Pool/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama addresses the nation from the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, DC, on December 6, 2015. AFP PHOTO/NICHOLAS KAMM / AFP / NICHOLAS KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 6: U.S. President Barack Obama addresses the country from the Oval Office on December 6, 2015 in Washington, DC. President Obama is addressing the terrorism threat to the United States and the recent attack in San Bernardino, California. (Photo by Saul Loeb-Pool/Getty Images)
IRVING, TEXAS - DECEMBER 06: Bar patrons watch as President Barack Obama addresses the nation from the Oval Office on December 6, 2015 at the DFW Airport in Irving, Texas. President Obama spoke about the government's campaign against the terrorist threat, following last week's attack in California. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
SAN BERNARDINO, CA - DECEMBER 06: Jonathan Tovar sits with his grandmother Helen Medina in her house, which was hit by bullets as police engaged in a gun battle with terror suspects on the street in front, as they watch President Barack Obama give a nationally-televised address from the White House about terrorism following the attack on the Inland Regional Center on December 6, 2015 in San Bernardino, California. Medina hid in her home as the police killed the terror suspects that attacked the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino that left 14 people dead and another 21 injured on December 2. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 6: U.S. President Barack Obama addresses the country from the Oval Office on December 6, 2015 in Washington, DC. President Obama is addressing the terrorism threat to the United States and the recent attack in San Bernardino, California. (Photo by Saul Loeb-Pool/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 6: U.S. President Barack Obama addresses the country from the Oval Office on December 6, 2015 in Washington, DC. President Obama is addressing the terrorism threat to the United States and the recent attack in San Bernardino, California. (Photo by Saul Loeb-Pool/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama addresses the nation from the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, DC, on December 6, 2015. AFP PHOTO/NICHOLAS KAMM / AFP / NICHOLAS KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 06: U.S. President Barack Obama delivers a national address from the Oval Office of the White House December 6, 2015 in Washington, DC Obama was expected to speak on his plans to battle the threat of terror attacks and defeating ISIL in the wake of last week's attack in San Bernardino, California. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
A bartender at a hotel near the Inland Regional Center watches President Obama speak on TV during the aftermath of a mass shooting that killed 14 people on Sunday, December 6, 2015 in San Bernardino, California, USA. AFP PHOTO/PATRICK T. FALLON / AFP / Patrick T. Fallon (Photo credit should read PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP/Getty Images)
U.S. President Barack Obama delivers an address to the nation in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Sunday, Dec. 6, 2015. Obama sought to soothe a nation shaken by the terrorist attack in a California town with assurances that the U.S. is hardening its defenses that were tempered by an acknowledgment that the threat to the country is ever-evolving. Photographer: Saul Loeb/Pool via Bloomberg
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 06: U.S. President Barack Obama delivers a national address from the Oval Office of the White House December 6, 2015 in Washington, DC Obama was expected to speak on his plans to battle the threat of terror attacks and defeating ISIL in the wake of last week's attack in San Bernardino, California. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
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"While most financial institutions would not have done business with designated terrorists even before this new authority, this action makes clear that the U.S. Treasury is willing to take serious steps to punish those financial institutions that do," Lorber said.

Using the new order, Treasury on Tuesday imposed sanctions on more than two dozen individuals and entities from 11 terrorist groups, including the Quds Force, the foreign wing of Iran's Revolutionary Guard, Hamas, the Islamic State, al-Qaida and their affiliates.

The State Department put an al-Qaida-affiliated group in Syria on a list of specially designated global terrorists and designated a dozen suspected leaders of Hezbollah's Jihad Council, Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, IS affiliates in West Africa and the Philippines, and the Tehrik-e Taliban in Pakistan.

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