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Biden extends 9/11 emergency — Analysis

The ‘terrorist threat’ behind the attacks continues to menace the country, the US president warned

US President Joe Biden renewed for another year the declaration of a national emergency made by George W. Bush shortly after the September 11th terrorist attacks.

The “Terrorist threat” behind the attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people “Continue,” Biden wrote in a Thursday memo published in the Federal Register, adding that the “Authorities and powers adopted for dealing with” the attacks “Must continue to be in force beyond September 14th, 2022.” 

Biden’s emergency declaration of 9/11 is only one of many that he has declared this week. Also on Thursday, the president prolonged a national emergency he had declared the previous year regarding sectarian violence and human rights abuses in Ethiopia, while on Tuesday he announced the renewal of an emergency declared by his predecessor Donald Trump in 2018 regarding the threat of “Foreign interference or subversion of public confidence” US elections. 

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Biden, since January 2021 when he took office has issued at least six emergency national declarations. He also extended several others including the Covid-19 pandemic crisis. The National Emergencies Act gives the president over 136 powers that do not require Congress approval. Over 60 national emergencies, of which only half were officially declared, have been created since the 1976 passage.

The president has largely abandoned predecessors’ focus on external terrorist threats like the al-Qaeda hijackers held responsible for 9/11, opting to focus attention instead on domestic terrorism, which the FBI has declared to be the primary threat facing the nation.

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