Thu. Jun 1st, 2023


A man stands in the rubble after the collapse of the first World Trade Center Tower in New York City on September 11, 2001. — AFP/ File
A person stands within the rubble after the collapse of the primary World Commerce Heart Tower in New York Metropolis on September 11, 2001. — AFP/ File

The households of victims of the September 11, 2001, terror attacks can’t seize $3.5 billion in funds belonging to Afghanistan’s central financial institution, a New York federal choose dominated Tuesday.

The property, held within the Federal Reserve Financial institution of New York, had been frozen on August 15, 2021 — the day the Taliban entered Kabul and toppled the US-backed Afghan authorities. US President Joe Biden later mentioned the cash could possibly be made out there to the households of 9/11 victims.

A gaggle of households — who years earlier sued the Taliban for his or her losses and received — has since moved to grab the funds to repay the judgment debt.

However Choose George Daniels of the Southern District of New York mentioned Tuesday that the federal courts lack the jurisdiction to grab the funds from Afghanistan’s central financial institution.

“The Judgment Collectors are entitled to gather on their default judgments and be made entire for the worst terrorist assault in our nation’s history, however they can’t achieve this with the funds of the central financial institution of Afghanistan,” Daniels defined in a 30-page opinion.

“The Taliban — not the previous Islamic Republic of Afghanistan or the Afghan folks — should pay for the Taliban’s legal responsibility within the 9/11 Assaults.”

Daniels additionally mentioned he was “constitutionally restrained” from awarding the property to the households as a result of it might successfully imply recognising the Taliban because the professional authorities of Afghanistan.

Because the group’s takeover in 2021, no nation has recognised the Taliban as Afghanistan’s authorities — together with america.

“The elemental conclusion… is that neither the Taliban nor the Judgment Collectors are entitled to raid the coffers of the state of Afghanistan to pay the Taliban’s money owed.”

Daniels’ ruling, which aligns with a advice by one other choose final yr, offers a blow to the households of the victims of 9/11, in addition to insurance coverage corporations that made funds due to the assaults.

Greater than 2,900 folks died when 4 hijacked planes crashed into the Twin Towers in New York, the Pentagon in Washington, DC, and a subject in Pennsylvania.

Then-president George W Bush launched an invasion of Afghanistan in response, leading to twenty years of struggle between the US-backed authorities and the Taliban.

With the withdrawal of US and NATO troops in August 2021, the Taliban retook energy.

The nation was nearly completely depending on support, and has seen its financial system teeter getting ready to collapse when Washington froze $7 billion in Afghan property.

Biden revealed a plan in February 2022 to separate the money, with half directed as support to Afghanistan and half going to households of victims of the 9/11 assaults.

Nevertheless it stays unclear what’s going to occur to the latter $3.5 billion put aside for the households if their appeals fail.


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