The U.S. Treasury Department on Thursday designated five prominent people tied to terrorist organizations based out of Afghanistan and Pakistan. They include top financiers for the Taliban, a Haqqani Network chief, and financial facilitators for al-Qaida and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan.
"These financiers and facilitators provide the fuel for the Taliban, Haqqani Network and al-Qaida to realize their violent aspirations," Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David C. Cohen said in a press release. "That is why we are taking these actions today and will continue our relentless efforts to choke off streams of financial and other support to terrorists."
Hajji Faizullah Khan Noorzai, Hajji Malik Noorzai, and Abdur Rehman were named as leading Taliban financiers. They allegedly provided funding and supplied weapons and explosives to Taliban and al-Qaida fighters to carry out attacks against U.S.-led coalition troops. They also operated schools, or madrassas, along the Afghan-Pakistan border to indoctrinate and train recruits. The madrassas also were used as venues for raising tens of thousands of dollars for the Taliban.
Malik Noorzai and his brother Faizullah Noorzai operated an import business that provided vehicles from Dubai and Japan for Taliban suicide operations, the press release said. The brothers also invested millions of dollars in various businesses for the Taliban and helped raise money from rich donors in the Gulf region and Pakistan.
In addition to raising funds, Abdur Rehman also helped facilitate communications between al-Qaida and Taliban members. In 2007, Rehman helped transfer $1 million from an al-Qaida financier in the Gulf to Pakistan for use in suicide missions and other terrorist attacks by al-Qaida and Taliban operatives. Rehman also maintained ties with designated terrorist organizations, including the Harakat ul-Jihad Islami (HuJI), Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), and al-Akhtar Trust (AAT). He formerly served as a commander with HuJI and was a local leader with the JeM.
Abdul Aziz Abbasin, a top commander of the Haqqani Network, helped run a training camp for foreign fighters in southeastern Afghanistan. He ambushed vehicles carrying supplies for Afghan security forces. The Haqqani Network has behind a spate of deadly attacks in Afghanistan, including a September 11 truck bomb attack on a NATO military base and another attack two days later on the U.S. embassy and the NATO force headquarters in Kabul.
Fazal Rahim has helped fund and train operatives tied to al-Qaida and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), a designated terrorist organization. He worked closely with former IMU founder and leader Tohir Yuldashev until the latter's death in a U.S. airstrike in Pakistan's lawless tribal belt in 2009. Rahim transferred funds from Gulf-based donors to fund IMU activities and also help train and recruit operatives.