Congressman Dan Boren (D-OK) and Congressman Paul Broun, M.D. (R-GA) today introduced the Limiting the Intrusive Miles of International Terrorist Sponsors Act (LIMITS Act) to limit personnel from state sponsors of terrorism to half a mile radius of the United Nations complex. The LIMITS Act will level the playing field by providing one consistent standard for diplomats and personnel from state sponsors of terrorism while simultaneously making it easier for the intelligence community to monitor these individuals.
The timing of introducing this bill could not be more critical as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is due to arrive in the United States in the next 24 hours. Moreover, a Fox News Report today reveals his “hands-on role, starting with a meeting in New York City in 2006, in helping one of his New York party guests commit the felony of violating U.S. sanctions on Iran.”
Congressman Dan Boren said, “Representatives and personnel who are visiting the Untied Nations headquarters from state sponsors of terrorism should not be granted unrestricted access to New York City and the surrounding area. The travel of individuals like Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad should be strictly limited to the immediate area in which they are conducting official business at the United Nations. As a member of the Intelligence Committee, I am well aware of the security threat posed by countries that provide financial and material assistance to international terrorist groups. I am proud to join with Congressman Broun in introducing legislation to address this important national security matter.”
Congressman Paul Broun stressed the need for action and said, “On Wednesday, Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will arrive in New York to speak to the U.N. General Assembly. His arrival comes on the heels of reports that highlight his assistance in violating U.S. sanctions on Iran during a previous trip to New York. Cleary, swift action should be taken to limit access to New York City for personnel from states that sponsor terrorism. By law, the United States is required to allow travel to the complex and its vicinity. However, I believe that half a mile is more than enough access for personnel from state sponsors of terrorism to obtain lodging, food, and other necessities. Our bill will reduce the current inconsistent or non-existent mileage restrictions and make it easier for our intelligence community to monitor these individuals.”
In 2002, 2003, and 2004, personnel from the Iranian Mission to the United Nations were caught photographing and videotaping the New York City subway and other popular landmarks. Consequently, some of these individuals were expelled by the State Department for spying or “engaging in activities not consistent with their duties.” Iran is not the only country designated as a State Sponsor of Terrorism that is engaged in intelligence collection - and other activities counter to our national and economic security - on U.S. soil.