“A federal judge found that 9/11 families and other U.S. victims cannot recover billions of dollars from the Central Bank of Afghanistan to satisfy judgments against the Taliban. The report and recommendation, handed down by Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn on Friday afternoon [8/26/2022], is a victory for Afghan civil society groups, which argued in an amicus brief filed by the Center for Constitutional Rights that the $3.5 billion in blocked assets belong to the people of Afghanistan and should be used to alleviate the devastating humanitarian crisis there.

At issue are $7.1 billion that the previous government of Afghanistan placed in the New York Federal Reserve. President Biden froze the funds after the Taliban takeover in August 2021, and, in February, he signed an executive order effectively allocating half for humanitarian relief in Afghanistan, leaving half subject to litigation. A group of 9/11 families that won a 2011 default judgment against those responsible for the attacks had filed a motion arguing that more than $2 billion should be turned over to them. American victims of a 2016 attack in Afghanistan had filed a separate motion seeking $138.4 million, and other victims made similar claims against the remainder of funds.”

– Center for Constitutional Rights, “Judge Agrees With Afghan Groups: 9/11 Families Cannot Claim Billions From Central Bank of Afghanistan,” ccrjustice.org, August 29, 2022