Action Supports the President’s South Asia Strategy
Washington – The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) took action today to expose and disrupt the financing of the Taliban and Haqqani Network by designating six individuals as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs) pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, which targets terrorists and those providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism. Four of the individuals – Abdul Samad Sani, Abdul Qadeer Basir Abdul Baseer, Hafiz Mohammed Popalzai, and Maulawi Inayatullah – were designated for acting on behalf of the Taliban, while the remaining two – Faqir Muhammad and Gula Khan Hamidi – were sanctioned for acting on behalf of the Haqqani Network.
As a result of today’s designations, all property and interests in property of these persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction are blocked, and U.S. persons 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, Under Secretary 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.”
Abdul Samad Sani
Abdul Samad Sani (Sani) was designated for acting for or on behalf of the Taliban.
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 ANP officer and the wounding of two others. As of June 2015, Sani was a member of the Taliban Senior Shura who had received funding to purchase supplies and ammunition for Taliban commanders and fighters engaged in combat in Afghanistan. As of March 2015, Sani was personally involved in appointing special representatives to serve as Taliban fundraisers abroad.
In 2014, Sani traveled to the Gulf to obtain funding and supplies. As of February 2014, the Taliban appointed Sani to take charge of marble mining operations and increase mining production, and that summer he was responsible for collecting funds from an onyx mine in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, and other smuggling operations in which the Taliban had a vested interest. As of November 2013, Sani assisted Taliban commanders and fighters with the financial costs of their medical treatment by arranging for the payment of their medical bills. In August 2013, Sani, a senior Afghan Taliban official, arranged for an Iran-based associate to help a Taliban fundraiser in Iran meet potential donors. As of November 2012, Sani was responsible for collecting donations from businessmen who were Taliban sympathizers in Afghanistan and Pakistan. and in late 2012, Sani traveled at the request of OFAC designated Taliban Finance Commission Head, Gul Agha, to the Girdi Jungal area in Pakistan and collected approximately $450,000 worth of Pakistani rupees from narcotics traffickers.
Sani has served as the Taliban’s Deputy Finance Commissioner, and served as the Governor for the Afghan Central Bank during the Taliban regime.
Abdul Qadeer Basir Abdul Baseer
Abdul Qadeer Basir Abdul Baseer (Baseer) was designated for acting for or on behalf of the Taliban.
In the fall of 2017, Baseer provided Taliban commanders with tens of thousands of dollars for previous attacks conducted in Kunar Province, Afghanistan. In early 2016, Baseer hosted meetings with leaders of the Taliban to convince them to support the then-Supreme Leader of the Taliban, Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansur. In the spring of 2015, Baseer, a member of the Taliban Finance Commission, hosted a meeting of the Taliban Senior Shura to plan for the spring 2015 fighting season. As of early 2015, Baseer led the Finance Commission of the Taliban Peshawar Shura, which was responsible for the Taliban’s military and political activities in northern and eastern Afghanistan. Baseer was responsible for collecting financial aid from domestic and foreign sponsors. As of early 2014, Baseer disbursed funds directly to Taliban shadow governors and was responsible for approving large expenses. As of early 2014, Baseer collected all the money from narcotics trafficking, precious stone sales, tithing, and almsgiving.
As of 2009, he served as the treasurer for the Taliban in Peshawar, Pakistan. He was the financial advisor to the Taliban’s Peshawar Military Council and head of the Taliban’s Peshawar Financial Commission as of early 2010. He personally delivers money from the Taliban’s leadership Shura to Taliban groups throughout Pakistan.
During the Taliban regime, Baseer was the General Consul of the Taliban in Islamabad, Pakistan, and according to the United Nations, he also served as the Taliban regime’s Military Attaché at the Taliban Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan.
Hafiz Mohammed Popalzai
Hafiz Mohammed Popalzai (Popalzai) was designated for acting for or on behalf of both the Taliban and Gul Agha Ishakzai.
Popalzai has 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. As of late 2013, Popalzai and Amir Abdullah, a Taliban finance official who has traveled internationally to fundraise for the group and who is designated pursuant to E.O. 13224, worked with businessmen and hawalas to send money to Taliban commanders in Afghanistan. Popalzai was one of four individuals responsible for all Taliban financing, including foreign financing and money from the narcotics trade, as well as investing the Taliban’s money. As of late 2012, Popalzai’s role with the Taliban Finance Commission was to collect money for the Taliban from Qandahar, Helmand, Herat, and Kabul Provinces, Afghanistan, a role he has had since the late 2000s. Once Popalzai received the money, he would pass the funds on to Finance Commission leader Gul Agha Ishakzai (Ishakzai), who is also designated pursuant to E.O. 13224.
In mid-2011, the Taliban was paid 10 million Euros for the release of hostages that the Taliban was holding. The Taliban arranged for money to be deposited into an account at an Afghan bank in Qandahar, Afghanistan. The account, which ultimately belonged to Ishakzai, was held in a false name. Popalzai traveled to Qandahar City to retrieve the money and return to Quetta, Pakistan to give the money to Ishakzai.
Maulawi Inayatullah (Inayatullah) was designated for acting for or on behalf of the Taliban.
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 Kabul, Afghanistan. Inayatullah 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 Province, Afghanistan. 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.
Faqir Muhammad (Faqir) was designated for acting for or on behalf of the Haqqani Network.
For several years, Faqir has been a major fundraiser for the Haqqani Network.
Gula Khan Hamidi
Gula Khan Hamidi (Hamidi) was designated for assisting in, sponsoring, or providing financial, material, or technological support for, or financial or other services to or in support of, the Haqqani Network, as well as for acting for or on behalf of the Haqqani Network.
As of July 2015, Hamidi facilitated communication between a Haqqani Network official and a Haqqani Network contact in Syria and, as of mid-2014, Hamidi was relied upon to faithfully translate communications between Haqqani Network officials and a Haqqani Network contact in Syria. As of September 2014, Hamidi agreed to facilitate travel for a Haqqani Network-affiliated Uzbek extremist and his associates from Pakistan to Turkey. As of July 2014, Hamidi 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 in Syria. Also as of early 2014, Hamidi 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 and SDGT Nasiruddin Haqqani on the travel of an associate to Turkey. In mid-2013, Hamidi sent approximately $21,000 to a senior Haqqani Network official.
In addition to, and separately from, his activities for the Haqqani Network, Hamidi has also been involved for years in coordinating travel and smuggling activity, to include working with an Iran-based smuggler regarding the travel of persons from Afghanistan to Europe in late 2017. In March 2017, Hamidi coordinated with an Iran-based associate regarding the smuggling of an Afghan person attempting to travel from Turkey to Syria. He has also smuggled individuals from Afghanistan to Syria, and from Turkey into and around Europe. In October 2014, Hamidi’s facilitation network coordinated the travel of al Qa’ida and Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan associates to Turkey, and in late 2013, Hamidi facilitated the movement of two groups of foreign fighters to Turkey from Pakistan.