Treasury sanctions senior Taliban leader
Oct. 20, 2015
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Treasury Department on Tuesday sanctioned a member of the Taliban leadership council for allegedly working to raise millions to bankroll the group's military operations in Afghanistan.
Treasury placed senior Taliban leader Torek Agha on a terrorist list, which freezes any property he has within U.S. jurisdiction and bans Americans from doing transactions with him.
Agha has been a key player in "spearheading brutal military attacks and raising millions of dollars to support the Taliban's ruthless acts of terrorism," said Adam Szubin, acting under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence.
As of late 2014, Agha served on the Taliban's Quetta Shura, a regional leadership council that directs Taliban activities, and was a key commander and member of the Taliban's military council.
In that role, Treasury alleged that Agha was one of four senior Taliban commanders who, as of early 2012, authorized using a chemical powder to assassinate senior government officials.
Treasury said he also worked several years funneling millions from the Persian Gulf region into Taliban coffers.
"As of early 2012, Torek Agha received a donation from an unidentified Arab donor with instructions to pass the money to the Taliban's shadow provincial governor of Uruzgan for assassination operations," the Treasury said in a statement.
Treasury said Agha helped orchestrate travel of Taliban members to Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries to collect financial donations from Afghan businessmen and money from smugglers, and that in 2010 he collected about $4 million from Gulf-based donors.
"As of late 2009, Torek Agha held $2 million from Gulf donors intended for the Taliban's Quetta Shura treasurer," the statement said, adding that some of the money was held in Pakistani banks under the control of the Taliban's head treasurer.