Victims of the 9/11 attacks should not be permitted to collect billions of dollars worth of assets belonging to Afghanistan’s central bank,
US Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn on Friday said that victims won’t be allowed to seize Afghan money.
Governments and foreign organizations seized the $10 billion in assets held overseas by the Afghan central bank after the Taliban took control of the country in August 2021.
Approximately $7 billion was stored in the US, while $2 billion was retained by other nations.
The funds have remained unclaimed because many Western nations have refused to recognize the Taliban as Afghanistan’s legitimate government.
The Taliban government’s claim to ownership of the central bank assets that have been frozen is weakened by the non-recognition of western countries.
Netburn ruled that the central bank of Afghanistan, Da Afghanistan Bank (DAB) was exempt from her jurisdiction.
According to the judge, the US president is the only person who has the authority to accept the Taliban as the legitimate government of Afghanistan if the bank’s assets are allowed to be seized.
Judge Netburn wrote, “The Taliban’s victims have fought for years for justice, accountability, and compensation. They are entitled to no less.”
“But the law limits what compensation the court may authorize, and those limits put the DAB’s assets beyond its authority.”
US District Judge George Daniels in Manhattan will consider Netburn’s advice and determine whether to accept it or not.
On September 11, 2001, planes were flown into the Pentagon in northern Virginia, the World Trade Center in New York City, and a field in Pennsylvania, resulting in the deaths of over 3,000 people.