Taliban demand US return $3.5bn in Afghan assets after court ruling

Judge George Daniels of the Southern District of New York has ruled that families of the victims of the 9/11 attacks cannot seize the $3.5 billion belonging to Afghanistan\’s central bank. The money was taken by the US after the Taliban stormed back to power in 2021 and Biden said it could be made available to the families. Daniels said the federal courts lack the jurisdiction to seize the funds, and that neither the Taliban nor the families are entitled to use the money to pay the Taliban\’s debts. The Taliban welcomed the ruling, and a lawyer for the families said they will appeal. The Biden administration has proposed a plan to split the money, with half going to Afghanistan and half to the victims\’ families, but it is still unclear what will happen to the latter if appeals fail.

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