When the Biden administration announced in February 2022 that it was freezing Afghan assets to compensate 9/11 victims, it raised an international outcry. Many have been calling on the US to release all the funds to aid organizations fighting humanitarian crises in Afghanistan.
The US froze 7 billion USD of Afghanistan Central Bank reserves after the Taliban took over the country in 2021. However, the Biden administration split the money. It said that 3.5 billion USD would be used as compensation for the families of those killed in the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center. Critics argued that taking money from the Afghans and paying the victims of the terrorist attack was unjust and a sign of moral decay. As per the video mentioned above the families of a few of the victims have been standing up and asking Joe Biden to give Afghans their money before they die of hunger. They also have a message for the Taliban that they should reopen the girls’ schools.
The Biden administration raised concern that it didn’t want any money falling into the hands of the Taliban. It also confirmed that no funds could be transferred until the court made the decision.
9/11 Victims Send a Message to US Government and Taliban
In the below video, the alleged families of 9/11 victims appeared at a press conference in Kabul to raise this issue again. They sent a direct message to US President Joe Biden and also the Taliban. First, they asked the US to return the Afghanistan Central Bank reserves, and secondly, they called on the Taliban to reopen girls’ schools.
Taliban Takeover of Afghanistan Post US Withdrawal of Troops
The Taliban is an extremist so-called Islamist organization that came to power in the 1990s in post-soviet Afghanistan. It began as a small group of religious students and scholars that confronted crime and corruption in Afghanistan. However, it became a dangerous force with time that got involved in various human rights abuses and different terrorist activities. The United States invaded Afghanistan in 2001 to change the Taliban regime after the 9/11 attacks on World Trade Center and succeeded by installing a new government. The Taliban survived and eventually got a chance to overthrow that government when the US left the country in August 2021.
Tricky Situation for Afghanistan
The US’s concerns about money getting into the hands of Afghanistan are that it could be used for terrorist activities. However, if Biden can provide money to aid organizations, then they can make sure to get the money to the right people. He has already allocated 3.5 billion USD for them, so why not the other half like these families of 9/11 victims were asking in the video?
Afghanistan has been suffering from more than 2 decades of war. Even the US intervention could not bring peace and prosperity to the region. After the Taliban takeover, Afghanistan’s economy has been freefalling. The entire country was relying on foreign aid and even that had been blocked due to the Taliban. Afghans have been facing food shortages and poor health care. Moreover, they have practically run out of money. Unfreezing the funds can help them, even though not for long enough.
The economic problems in Afghanistan have been causing mass migrations to Pakistan and Iran, which are struggling themselves. United Nations warned that Afghanistan could reach a poverty rate of 97% within the 6 months of 2022. This is why victims of the 9/11 attacks are asking Joe Biden to give the money it supposedly planned for them to the Afghans.