By MATTHEW LEE
AP Diplomatic Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration has put a well-known Russian paramilitary organization on a list of religious freedom violators alongside a number of notorious terrorist organizations. Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced Friday that he had designated the Wagner Group as an “entity of particular concern” for its activities in the Central African Republic. The Wagner Group is run by a confidant of Russian President Vladimir Putin and its mercenaries are accused of numerous human rights abuses. The designation does not immediately carry U.S. sanctions but opens the organization up to potential penalties for violations of religious freedom. Also on the list are Afghanistan’s Taliban, Nigeria’s Boko Haram, Somalia’s al-Shabab and two factions of the Islamic State group.