August 02, 2022

What Zawahri’s killing means for Afghanistan’s frozen $3.5B


Journalist: Alex Ward

A consequence of killing al Qaeda leader AYMAN AL-ZAWAHRI in Kabul is that the Biden administration may not soon return the $3.5 billion it took from the Afghan people.

In February, President JOE BIDEN blocked those U.S.-based funds, owned by Afghanistan’s Central Bank, from falling into the hands of the Taliban and other “malicious actors.” Once the U.S. could assure the money would be used to better the lives of millions of Afghans, and another $3.5 billion could potentially be paid to the families of 9/11 victims, that money would flow back to the Central Bank to bolster Afghanistan’s failing economy.


“The U.S. should suspend its dialogue with the Taliban and ensure no U.S. assistance gets anywhere near the Taliban leadership,” said LISA CURTIS, who served as the NSC’s top South Asia official during the Trump administration. Curtis suggested the money instead reach the Afghan people via a United Nations or World Bank delivery mechanism.

Read the full article from POLITICO.


  • Lisa Curtis

    Senior Fellow and Director, Indo-Pacific Security Program

    Lisa Curtis is a Senior Fellow and Director of the Indo-Pacific Security Program at CNAS. She is a foreign policy and national security expert with over 20 years of service in...