PICUTRED: The nine-eleven attacks aftermath. PC: Michael Foran. CC 2.0.
NEW YORK CITY. August 16th, 2022. In a letter to President Biden, family members of the 9/11 victims called on President Biden to return $7 billion worth of Afghanistan central bank reserves he took after the Taliban took control of Kabul two days and one year ago.
Biden’s intention was to freeze all $7 billion, and then take $3.5 billion to give to the 9/11 victim families, despite Afghanistan and the Taliban having nothing to do with the attacks on the Twin Towers.
The family members described this as “legally suspect and morally wrong,” and that “this money is theirs, not ours”.
Afghanistan is suffering a famine, though the UN and other international agencies are extremely reluctant to call it a famine. The executive summary of a recent UN report reveals that nearly 6 million Afghans in are in a food “catastrophe,” which is referred to loosely as famine-like elsewhere in the report.
97% of the population are living in extreme poverty, reports the World Bank, which is the same percentage given by the UN for Afghans not getting enough to eat. 47% of the population are either in a worse state, considered a food “crisis” or worse, a “catastrophe”.
“We call on you to modify your Executive Order and affirm that the Afghanistan central bank funds belong to the Afghan people and the Afghan people alone,” the letter writes.
Theirs, not ours
“A lawsuit by a small group of 9/11 family members has sought to seize the assets to pay off the debt from a default judgment that they won against the Taliban years ago. Their argument is that, when the Taliban took control over the Afghan government, the Taliban presumptively gained control of the frozen assets as well, freeing the funds for the plaintiffs to pursue,” the letter explains.
“But these arguments are founded on a false premise. This money does not belong to the Taliban. This money comes from Afghanistan’s central bank, and as such, it belongs to the Afghan people”.
A year on from the Islamic Emirate establishing itself in Kabul, Biden officials have said they have no intention of returning the $7 billion, rationalizing that the supposed assassination of al-Qaeda leader and 9/11 mastermind, Ayman al-Zawahiri, in Kabul on August 1st was a violation of the Doha Agreement.
The U.S. admits it has no DNA evidence that the man on a balcony in Kabul killed at the beginning of August in a drone strike was al-Zawahiri, but claim they “quite frankly… don’t need it,” saying that they confirmed it with “multiple sources.”
However the assassination should be considered suspect as the Pentagon have released none of this additional evidence, which they claim involves the actions of what people on the ground did following the bombing, and “video evidence,” all of which Pentagon Spokesperson John Kirby said gave them “high confidence,” it was al-Zawahiri.
However “high confidence” was also given by the Pentagon that a drone bombing in Kabul last year which was found to have killed an innocent aid worker named Zemari Ahmed, 7 children, and two of his adult family members, took out a suicide bomber on the way to attack the Kabul airport.
In any case, this was enough for the Biden Administration’s envoy to Afghanistan to rule out any repatriation of the $7 billion.
“We do not see recapitalization of the Afghan central bank as a near-term option,” said special envoy West.