Taliban urge US to restore $3.5 billion of Afghanistan's Central Bank

Taliban urge US to restore $3.5 billion of Afghanistan's Central Bank


US courts lack authority to seize Afghan Central Bank’s money, rules New York Judge

KABUL (Web Desk) - As a New York federal judge determined the relatives of 9/11 victims could not take the funds, Taliban officials urged America on Wednesday to restore $3.5 billion that belonged to Afghanistan's state bank.

In 2021, shortly after the Taliban retook control of Afghanistan, the United States seized possession of the assets. President Joseph Biden stated that the funds may be made accessible to the relatives of 9/11 victims.

Families who won a long-ago lawsuit against the Taliban for their losses have recently tried to collect the money in order to satisfy the judgment obligation. Nevertheless, Southern District of New York Judge George Daniels ruled on Tuesday that the US courts lacked the authority to seize the money from the Afghan Central Bank.

In a 30-page ruling, Daniels stated that although "the Judgment Creditors are entitled to collect on their default judgments and be made whole for the deadliest terrorist assault in our nation's history, they cannot do so with the cash of the national bank of Afghanistan."

The Taliban must pay for their responsibility in the 9/11 attacks, not the former Islamic Republic of Afghanistan or the Afghan people. Daniels said that giving the assets to the families would essentially amount to acknowledging the Taliban as the legitimate ruler of Afghanistan and that he was thus "constitutionally prohibited" from doing so.

The United States is one of the few countries that has not yet recognized the Taliban administration. The basic finding is that neither the Taliban nor the Judgment Creditors have the right to plunder the funds of the Afghan government in order to satisfy the Taliban's obligations.

The families of the 9/11 victims as well as insurance companies that paid settlements as a result of the attacks take a hit as a result of Daniels' decision, which is in line with a recommendation issued by another judge last year. The families will appeal the decision, according to an attorney for them.

On September 11, 2001, four hijacked aircraft collided with the World Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon in Washington, DC, and a field in Pennsylvania, killing over 2,900 people. The Islamist organization Al-Qaeda, whose leader, Osama bin Laden, had sought asylum in Afghanistan under the first Taliban administration, which had dominated the nation since 1996, was responsible for the attack.