victims’ claim to Afghan assets; Victims of the 9/11 attacks do not have the right to seize $3.5bn (£2.9bn) in assets held by Afghanistan’s central bank, a US judge has ruled.
Lawyers seeking compensation argued that the funds could satisfy court judgments against the Taliban, who rule Afghanistan.
During the 2001 attacks, the Taliban allowed al-Qaeda militants to operate from Afghanistan.
Suicide bomber attacks on the United States cost 2,977 lives.
Judge George Daniels said there was a “constitutionally limit” approval of access to funds frozen in the United States. Because it amounted to a ruling that the Taliban is the legitimate government of Afghanistan.
He pointed out that the Biden administration had not recognized the Taliban. Which meant that US courts had no jurisdiction to do so.
“Judgment creditors have the right to collect on their default judgments. Recover from the worst terrorist attack in our nation’s history. But they cannot do so with the funds of the Central Bank of Afghanistan. Judge Daniels wrote in his 30-page opinion. . judgement.
“The Taliban, not the former Islamic Republic of Afghanistan or the Afghan people. Should pay for the Taliban’s responsibility in the 9/11 attacks,” he added.
victims’ claim to Afghan assets; The Taliban were oust by a US-led military coalition in 2001, but regained control of Afghanistan in 2021 after Western forces withdrew from the country. Al Qaeda, an extremist Islamist group, planned the 9/11 attacks from Afghanistan. Before flying into the World Trade Center in New York. The Pentagon in Northern Virginia, and a fourth plane crashed in a field in Pennsylvania.
The judge’s decision is a defeat for those who claimed part of the $7 billion in funds frozen by the Central Bank of Afghanistan.
“This decision deprives more than 10,000 members of the 9/11 community of their right to collect reparations from the Taliban,” said attorney Lee Wolosky, who argued for compensation for the victims. “We think they made the wrong decision and we will appeal.”