A judge rejects the claim of Afghan assets by 9/11 victims

An intimate memorial

A US judge has ruled that the victims of the 9/11 attacks do not have the right to seize $30.5 billion (£20.9 billion) in assets that belong to Afghanistan's central bank.

Lawyers seeking the compensation argued that these funds could be used to pay court judgments they had won against the Taliban government in Afghanistan.

The Taliban had permitted al-Qaeda militants to operate out of Afghanistan at the time of the 2001 attacks.

2,977 people died in the suicide plane attacks on America.

The funds are frozen in the US, and Judge George Daniels claimed he was "constitutionally restrained" from approving access because doing so would amount to declaring that the Taliban were Afghanistan's legitimate government.

He pointed out that since the Biden administration had refused to recognize the Taliban, neither could US courts.

In his 30-page ruling, Judge Daniels stated that while "the judgment creditors are entitled to collect on their default judgments and be made whole for the worst terrorist attack in our nation's history, they cannot do so with the funds of the central bank of Afghanistan.".

"The Taliban must pay for the Taliban's liability in the 9/11 attacks, not the former Islamic Republic of Afghanistan or the Afghan people," he continued.

A military coalition led by the US overthrew the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2001, but after the withdrawal of Western forces in 2021, the Taliban seized back power.

Before planes were flown into the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in northern Virginia, with a fourth jet crashing into a field in Pennsylvania, the 11 September attacks were planned from Afghanistan by Al-Qaeda, an Islamist extremist network.

The judge's decision is a setback for those who had attempted to claim a portion of the $7 billion in funds frozen at the Federal Reserve Bank in New York on behalf of Afghanistan's central bank.

According to Lee Wolosky, a lawyer who argued for victims' compensation, "this decision deprives over 10,000 members of the 9/11 community of their right to collect compensation from the Taliban.". "We will appeal because we think the decision was incorrect.

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