A U.S. judge decided on Tuesday that victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks are not entitled to seize $3.5 billion of assets belonging to Afghanistan’s central bank to satisfy court judgments they obtained against the Taliban.
U.S. District Judge George Daniels in Manhattan said he was “constitutionally restrained” from finding that the Taliban was Afghanistan’s legitimate government, a precursor for attaching assets belonging to Da Afghanistan Bank, or DAB.
Daniels said letting victims seize those assets would amount to a ruling that the Taliban are Afghanistan’s legitimate government.
He said U.S. courts lack power to reach that conclusion, noting that Biden administration does not recognize the Taliban as Afghanistan’s government.
“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, but they cannot do so with the funds of the central bank of Afghanistan,” Daniels wrote.