‘USA Stole Money From Afghans’: People Take to Streets of Kabul to Protest US Asset Seizure

© Photo : Twitter / @ShamshadnetworkAfghans protest US seizure of $7 billion in assets. Kabul, 12 February 2022.
Afghans protest US seizure of $7 billion in assets. Kabul, 12 February 2022. - Sputnik International, 1920, 12.02.2022
Joe Biden signed an executive order Friday allowing for $7 billion in Afghan Central Bank funds in the US to be split in two into a ‘humanitarian trust’ and a fund to pay victims of the 9/11 terror attacks. Afghanistan is the latest nation to fall victim to the US policy of asset pilfering, with Iran and Venezuela previously robbed of billions.
A small group of demonstrators took the streets of Kabul on Saturday to protest Washington’s “illegal” seizure of $7 billion in cash which the previous government had stashed in US banks before Afghanistan was overrun by the Taliban* last summer.
Protesters gathered before the Grand Id Gah Mosque with makeshift cardboard signs, some of them in illegible English, reading “USA stole money from Afghans”, “America is cruel” and “America should give us one million [illegible] people damage.”
In addition to slamming Biden’s decision to use $3.5 billion in Afghan assets for payments to families of American 9/11 victims, protesters demanded financial compensation for the tens of thousands of Afghans who died during the 19+ year war and occupation of their country.

“What about our Afghan people who gave many sacrifices and thousands of losses of lives?” protest organizer Abdul Rahman asked. "This money belongs to the people of Afghanistan, not to the United States. This is the right of Afghans," he said.

U.S. President Joe Biden signs executive orders in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, after his inauguration as the 46th President of the United States, U.S., January 20, 2021. REUTERS/Tom Brenner - Sputnik International, 1920, 11.02.2022
Taliban Slams Biden's Order Freezing $7Bn in Afghan Assets as 'Theft and Moral Decline'
Torek Farhadi, a former financial advisor to the US-backed government, told reporters that Biden’s order was illegal.
“These reserves belong to the people of Afghanistan, not the Taliban…Biden’s decision is one-sided and does not match with international law,” he said. "No other country on Earth makes such confiscation decisions about another country's reserves," he added.
The vast majority of Afghanistan’s overseas assets abroad have been stuck in limbo in US banks ever since the NATO-backed government’s collapse last August. Along with $7 billion in the US, another $2 billion is stashed in Germany, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates.
The Taliban blasted the Biden administration over the "theft" of Afghan assets on Friday, calling his decision a "showcase of the human and moral decline of the country and people."
Washington has promised that $3.5 billion of the $7 billion will be put into a humanitarian trust which will be used to aid the Afghan people. The rest of the money will remain in the US, pending court rulings on legal claims against the Taliban by the families of victims of the 11 September 2001 terror attacks.
The United States holds the Taliban partially responsible for the 9/11 attacks, citing the group's decision to provide refuge to al-Qaeda* commander and terror mastermind Osama bin Laden. The Taliban's refusal to hand him over to US authorities served as a pretext for the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. The Taliban maintain to this day that US officials have yet to show them evidence that bin Laden was responsible for 9/11.
US courts have not shied away from seizing assets even of countries which had absolutely nothing to do with 9/11 to pay compensation for the attacks. In 2018, a New York court ordered $6 billion in Iranian assets frozen in US banks to be redistributed to 9/11 victims' families, even though none of the 19 terrorist hijackers were Iranians, and despite Iran's record of battling al-Qaeda, the Taliban and other jihadist groups.
*The Taliban is an organization under UN sanctions for terrorist activities.
*A terrorist group outlawed in Russia and many other countries.
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