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Biden State Department-Run Program Paid $1.3 Million to Taliban, Watchdog Report Finds

Lt. Joe Painter/Department of Defense
Lt. Joe Painter/Department of Defense

By: Robert Schmad, Daily Caller News Foundation

The Biden administration helped guide roughly $1.3 million to the Taliban through a weapons removal program since September 2021, according to an April 30 inspector general report.

Taliban entities received funds from partners working with the State Department’s Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement in Afghanistan, including $138,000 in this quarter, according to the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction’s (SIGAR) recent report. SIGAR’s report documents how the head of the Taliban has defended Sharia law, including “publicly flogging and stoning women for committing adultery,” as well as how other terrorist groups, like ISIS-K, are proliferating in the region.

SIGAR’s report notes that the Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement had an additional $5 million in funding available for disbursement as of March.

John Sopko, the head of SIGAR, warned Congress during an April 2023 testimony that some of the billions in aid the United States government is sending to Afghanistan could be falling into the hands of the Taliban. During the same testimony, Sopko criticized the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development for allegedly refusing to provide SIGAR with information on their operations in Afghanistan, inhibiting the watchdog’s ability to perform its duties.

The United States has allocated over $8 billion to Afghanistan since it withdrew from the country in August 2021, according to Sopko.

While the SIGAR report says that the Taliban has made moves to target hostile terrorist organizations like ISIS-K, it has “remain[ed] tolerant of some terror groups, such as al Qaeda and Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan.”

Congress established SIGAR in 2008 to monitor the billions in tax dollars flowing into Afghanistan during the war against the Taliban and has since evolved to track America’s post-withdrawal spending in the country.

The State Department did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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