Money belongs to the people of Afghanistan and should be used to stabilize economy and relieve suffering, court filing says. 

By the Center for Constitutional Rights

Afghan civil society groups are opposing the effort by a group of 9/11 families and other U.S. victims to seize billions of dollars from the Central Bank of Afghanistan to satisfy judgments against the Taliban. In an amicus brief filed yesterday, they argue that the $3.5 billion in blocked assets belongs to the people of Afghanistan and should be used to stabilize the economy and alleviate the humanitarian catastrophe there.

At issue are $7.1 billion that the previous government of Afghanistan placed in the New York Federal Reserve. After the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan in August 2021, the Biden Administration froze the funds. In February, President Biden signed an executive order effectively allocating half for humanitarian relief in Afghanistan and leaving half subject to litigation brought by some of the 9/11 families.

Children play around bullet-riddled car in Kabul

A group of 9/11 families that won a 2011 default judgment against those responsible for the attacks, the Havlish plaintiffs, have filed a motion in the Southern District of New York arguing that more than $2 billion of the Afghan assets should be turned over to them. U.S. victims of a 2016 attack on a compound in Afghanistan have filed a separate motion seeking $138.4 million of the funds.

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