Pakistan's Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif. Photo: Mikhail Tereshchenko / TASS via Getty Images

After days of speculation, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which tracks countries suspected of engaging in terrorist financing and money laundering, added Pakistan to its terrorist financing watch list.

Why it matters: Adding Pakistan to the list is a more effective way of urging the state to change its policy of sponsoring terrorist groups than cutting off aid immediately. And Pakistan has until June to improve on its anti–money laundering activities.

After three years on the international watchdog's list, Pakistan was taken off in 2015 for improving its standards, especially around financial transactions. Yet, Lashkar-e-Taiba and its affiliates remain at large in Pakistan, violating conditions laid out by the Obama administration  for removing Pakistan from the list.

The Trump administration has now taken a hardline approach and lobbied for Pakistan's reinclusion, with the support of the UK and Germany. The decision was made after China and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) withdrew their opposition. Turkey, however, remains opposed.

But, but, but: This still doesn't address the bigger issue plaguing the region, which is the continued funding of terrorism by Saudi Arabia.

Sahar Khan is a visiting research fellow in the Cato Institute's Defense and Foreign Policy Department. 

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 18,187,396 — Total deaths: 691,352 — Total recoveries — 10,841,436Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 4,711,323 — Total deaths: 155,379 — Total recoveries: 1,513,446 — Total tests: 57,543,852Map.
  3. Politics: White House will require staff to undergo randomized coronavirus testing — Pelosi says Birx "enabled" Trump on misinformation.
  4. Sports: 13 members of St. Louis Cardinals test positive, prompting MLB to cancel Tigers series — Former FDA chief says MLB outbreaks should be warning sign for schools.
  5. 1 🎥 thing: "Tenet" may be the first major film to get a global pandemic release.

In photos: Thousands evacuated as Southern California fire grows

A plane makes a retardant drop on a ridge at the Apple Fire north of Banning in Riverside County, which "doubled in size" Saturday, per KTLA. Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

A massive wildfire that prompted mandatory evacuations in Southern California over the weekend burned 26,450 acres and was 5% contained by Monday afternoon, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said.

The big picture: As California remains an epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S., some 15 separate fires are raging across the state. About 7,800 people were under evacuation orders from the Apple Fire, about 75 miles east of Los Angeles, as hundreds of firefighters battled the blaze. CalFire said Monday that a malfunction involving a "diesel-fueled vehicle emitting burning carbon from the exhaust system" started the Apple Fire.

Twitter faces FTC fine of up to $250 million over alleged privacy violations

Photo: Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket

The Federal Trade Commission has accused Twitter of using phone numbers and emails from its users to make targeted ads between 2013 and 2019, Twitter said in an SEC filing published Monday.

Why it matters: Twitter estimates that the FTC's draft complaint, which was sent a few days after its Q2 earnings report, could cost the company between $150 million and $250 million. The complaint is unrelated to the recent Twitter hack involving a bitcoin scam.