WASHINGTON – The Obama administration designated four Afghans and a Pakistani as terrorists on Thursday for their alleged support for Al Qaeda, the Taliban or the Haqqani network. The action blocks any assets the men have in the United States and bans Americans from doing business with them.
The Treasury Department said the sanctions were aimed at financiers and facilitators of terrorism in Afghanistan and Pakistan. David S. Cohen, the undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said the actions continue U.S. efforts to "choke off streams of financial and other support to terrorists."
The individuals are Hajji Faizullah Khan Noorzai; Hajji Malik Noorzai; Abdur Rehman; Abdul Aziz Abbasin; and Fazal Rahim.
The Treasury Department described Faizullah as a prominent Taliban financier who has collected more than $100,000 from donors in the Arab Gulf region and invested funds for senior Taliban leaders. His money has specifically gone toward training Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters to conduct attacks against Afghan military forces, the government alleged.
Malik, a Pakistan-based businessman, is accused of investing "millions of dollars" in various businesses for the Taliban. He has served for years as a caretaker of a madrassa on the Afghan-Pakistani border that helped indoctrinate people and train Taliban recruits, and has stored vehicles later used in suicide bombing operations, the Treasury Department said in a statement.
It said Rehman has served as a Taliban facilitator for the last three years and that his religious school in the Pakistani city of Karachi has directly supported the militant group. He's also provided Al Qaeda with financial support and helped various other groups designated by the U.S. as terrorist organizations, the statement said.
The department called Abbasin a key commander in the Haqqani network who reports to the top of the organization and has been responsible for ambushing Afghan supply vehicles and training fighters.
Rahim was arrested in 2010 by Pakistani authorities, the department said, but before that had served an important financier for Al Qaeda and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan who distributed funds to militants and recruited young men for extremist groups.