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US slaps sanctions on Taliban, Haqqani leaders

US slaps sanctions on Taliban, Haqqani leaders

Jan 26, 2018 - 11:47

WASHINGTON (Pajhwok): The United States on Thursday designated four Talibaninfo-icon and two Haqqani networkinfo-icon leaders as global terrorists and slapped sanctions against them.

The Trump administration also asked the Pakistaninfo-icon government to work with it to deny these groups safe haven and aggressively target their funding.

The four Taliban leaders are Abdul Samad Sani, Abdul Qadeer Basir Abdul Baseer, Hafiz Mohammed Popalzai and Maulviinfo-icon Inayatullah.

The Department of Treasury also declared two Haqqani network leaders -- Faqir Muhammad and Gula Khan Hamidi -- as global terrorists.

As a result, all property and interests in property of these persons subject to US jurisdiction are blocked. The Americans are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them.

“We are targeting six individuals related to the Taliban or Haqqani Network who have been involved in attacks on Coalition troops, smuggling of individuals or financing these terrorist groups,” said Sigal Mandelker, undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence.

“This action supports the president’s South Asia Strategy by disrupting these terrorist organizations and publically exposing individuals who facilitate their activities. “

The Pakistani government must work with us to deny the Taliban and the Haqqani Network sanctuary and to aggressively target their terrorist fundraising,” Mandelker stressed.

In early 2017, Sani sent weapons to Taliban members who later attacked an Afghan National Police (ANP) patrol that resulted in the death of one officer and the wounding of two others.

As of June 2015, Sani was a member of the Taliban Shurainfo-icon who had received funding to purchase supplies and ammunition for Taliban commanders and fighters engaged in combat in Afghanistaninfo-icon.

As of March 2015, Sani was personally involved in appointing special representatives to serve as Taliban fundraisers abroad. He served as the Taliban’s deputy finance commissioner and central bank governor during the Taliban regime.

In the fall of 2017, Baseer provided Taliban commanders with tens of thousands of dollars for previous attacks conducted in Kunar province. In early 2016, he hosted meetings with Taliban leaders to convince them to support the Mullahinfo-icon Akhtar Mohammad Mansur.

He served as treasurer for the Taliban in Peshawar. During Taliban regime, Baseer was the general consul and military attaché at the Afghan embassy in Islamabad.

Popalzai served for several years on the Taliban Finance Commission and was in charge of the Taliban's finances for southern and western Afghanistan, including Qandahar, Helmand, Nimroz, Herat, Zabul, Uruzgan, and Farah provinces.

In mid-2011, the Taliban were paid 10 million euros for the release of hostages they holding. The Taliban arranged for money to be deposited into an account at an Afghan bank in Kandahar.

The account, which ultimately belonged to Ishakzai, was held in a false name. Popalzai traveled to Kandahar City to retrieve the money and return to Quetta to give it to Ishakzai.

Inayatullah has been a Taliban military affairs member in charge of multiple Afghan provinces, and was a member of the Taliban Peshawar Shura.

As of late 2016, Inayatullah operated as the overall Taliban member responsible for attacks against Afghan and Coalition Forces in Kabulinfo-icon, Afghanistan.

He provided financial support and other materials for the attack planners. As of late 2013, Inayatullah, as the Taliban’s Military Commission deputy leader, procured weapons, ammunition and supplies for operations in Kunar.

In addition, Inayatullah received a large sum of money from a contact and gave it to a courier to provide to al Qa’ida militants. For several years, Faqir has been a major fundraiser for the Haqqani Network.

Hamidi was designated for assisting in, sponsoring or providing financial, material or technological support for, financial or other services to or in support of the Haqqani Network.

As of July 2015, Hamidi facilitated communication between a Haqqani Network official and a contact in Syria. In mid-2014, Hamidi was relied upon to faithfully translate communications between Haqqani Network officials and a contact in Syria.

In September 2014, Hamidi agreed to facilitate travel for a Haqqani Network-affiliated Uzbek extremist and his associates from Pakistan to Turkey. In July 2014, he likely facilitated the transfer of funds from the Haqqani Network to a Pakistan-based Uzbek extremist.

As of early 2014, Hamidi was an honored representative of the Haqqani Network in meetings with various Syrian faction leaders. Also, he planned to send funds to Germans located with the Haqqani Network in Pakistan.

In the fall of 2013, Hamidi coordinated with now-deceased senior Haqqani Network official Nasiruddin Haqqani on the travel of an associate to Turkey. In mid-2013, Hamidi sent approximately $21,000 to a senior Haqqani Network official.

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