U.S. Will Not Release $3.5 Billion in Frozen Afghan Funds for Now, Citing Terror Fears

The Biden administration on Monday ruled out releasing $3.5 billion in funds held in the United States back to Afghanistan’s central bank anytime soon, citing the discovery that Al Qaeda’s leader had taken refuge in the heart of Kabul apparently with the protection of the Taliban government.

The position on the funds was outlined on the one-year anniversary of the takeover of Afghanistan by the extremist Taliban militia and just over two weeks after an American drone strike killed Ayman al-Zawahri, the Qaeda leader, on the balcony of a house tied to a faction of the Taliban coalition in an exclusive enclave of the Afghan capital.

“We do not see recapitalization of the D.A.B. as a near-term option,” said Thomas West, the American government’s special representative for Afghanistan, referring to the initials for the central bank. He noted that American officials have engaged for months with the central bank about how to shore up Afghanistan’s economy but have not secured…

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This article was written by and originally published on www.nytimes.com