Central Bank of Afghanistan funds will not be used to compensate 9/11 victims

Afghanistan A member of Afghanistan's special forces in Achin district of Nangarhar province, eastern Afghanistan

Relatives of victims of the attacks of September 11, 2001 are not entitled to compensation from the Central bank of Afghanistan funds frozen by the United States. A judge in New York has ruled that he has no jurisdiction to do so. She refers the case to a higher court.

The administration of US president Joe Biden earlier said it was considering setting aside half of the 7 billion dollars (more than 7 billion euros) pending lawsuits over damages by relatives of victims of the al-Qaeda attacks. According to Judge Sarah Netburn, the US judiciary has no jurisdiction over the funds held by the Afghan central bank with financial institutions in the United States. It is a preliminary opinion, a higher court must now decide whether to ratify the recommendation.

After the Taliban took power in August 2021, president Biden froze about 7 billion that Afghanistan has stored at the Federal Reserve Bank in New York. The Biden administration was considering releasing half of it for aid in Afghanistan. Talks with the Taliban over the funds have been suspended, however, after the leader of terror group al-Qaeda was liquidated earlier this month in a US operation in Kabul. The fact that Ayman al-Zawahiri apparently lived undisturbed in Kabul may indicate, according to the US, that Afghanistan is again becoming a free haven for terrorists.

Some of the relatives of the victims of the terrorist attacks had written in a letter to the US president that the money belongs to the Afghan people.

“The release of even a small part of the 7 billion is legally questionable and morally dubious,” the family members wrote in the letter.

According to them, any compensation should not be at the expense of starving Afghans. Since the Taliban took power, Afghanistan’s economy has been in deep crisis. According to the United Nations, more than 90 percent of the population is deficient in food.