President Biden on Friday is expected to sign an executive order that will split $7 billion in frozen Afghanistan funds in the U.S. banking system to compensate 9/11 victims and set up a trust fund for humanitarian aid to the country, officials familiar with the situation told The New York Times.
When the Taliban took over Afghanistan last August, the U.S. froze the $7 billion in funds the country had in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The Taliban has sought the funds to be made available for themselves while 9/11 victims said the money should be used to compensate them.
Biden’s executive order is expected to split the $7 billion so $3.5 billion can go towards the victims while the other $3.5 billion can still be used to provide aid in Afghanistan without directly aiding the U.S.-labeled terrorist group, The Times reported.
After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, victims won a lawsuit by default judgement against the Taliban and al Qaeda with a judge saying the terrorist organizations owe the victims $7 billion. At the time, it seemed impossible that the victims would get that money.
However, after the fall of Afghanistan to Taliban control in September, 150 relatives of those who died in the attacks stepped up and got a judge to issue a “writ of execution” to the reserve’s legal department, according to The Times.
Since The Times reported on Biden considering a move to use the $7 billion to repay victims in November, other victims of the attacks have stepped up to claim compensation.