Treasury Imposes Sanctions on Individuals Linked to the Taliban and Haqqani Network
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) today designated two individuals pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13224. Bakht Gul, a Haqqani Network communications official, is being designated for acting for or on behalf of Badruddin Haqqani and Abdul Baqi Bari, a Taliban financier, is being designated for providing financial support for, and or financial services to, the Taliban.
Badruddin Haqqani is a Haqqani Network commander who was previously designated by the U.S. Department of State in May 2011 under E.O. 13224. The United States listed the Taliban as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist entity in July 2002.
“By designating these individuals today, Treasury is taking another step to ensure all those who perpetuate ongoing violence and terrorist activities in Afghanistan and Pakistan will continue to be marginalized and cut off from the international financial system, and they will find it increasingly difficult to carry out their objectives,” said Adam Szubin, Director of Treasury’s OFAC.
As a result of today’s action, all property in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons in which Bakht Gul or Abdul Baqi Bari has an interest is blocked, and U.S. persons are prohibited from engaging in transactions with them.
Bakht Gul has been a key Haqqani Network communications official since at least 2009. Gul works directly for senior Haqqani Network leader Badruddin Haqqani and has served as a gatekeeper for Badruddin. Gul's responsibilities include relaying reports from commanders in Afghanistan to senior Haqqani Network officials, Taliban media officials, and legitimate media outlets in Afghanistan.
Gul also works with Haqqani Network officials, including Badruddin Haqqani, to coordinate the movement of Haqqani insurgents, foreign fighters, and weapons. As of 2010, Gul relayed operational orders from Badruddin Haqqani to fighters in Afghanistan.
In addition to the reasons for which he is being designated, Gul distributed money to Haqqani Network sub-commanders traveling into Afghanistan in late 2009.
Abdul Baqi Bari
Abdul Baqi Bari has served as a Taliban money launderer and financial manager since at least 2001. He has used Pakistani banks to secure money given to him by Taliban sources and in 2002 gave an individual $2.6 million in Taliban money to deposit in separate bank accounts.
Bari has also used a company to funnel funds to support Taliban and al-Qa'ida activity in Afghanistan. In 2002, al-Qa'ida senior leader Usama Bin Laden provided Bari and an associate $500,000 to purchase a factory for the company, and Taliban personnel subsequently established satellite offices throughout Afghanistan.
The same month, Afghanistan's Pajhwok news service reported that, in the twilight of the Taliban government, Mullah Omar had ordered the payment of $168 million from Afghanistan's national bank to a number of individuals, among whom Bari was at the top of the list, according to the chief of Interpol in Afghanistan. Recipients of the money allegedly launched businesses inside and outside Afghanistan and were funding "terrorists" in the region. Pakistani authorities froze more than $5 million in funds belonging to two of Bari's companies.
Mullah Omar directed Bari in 2001 to allocate money from his businesses to pay al-Qa'ida and Taliban supporters. Bari used money exchange businesses in Pakistan to funnel financial support to the Taliban and al-Qa'ida and, in one instance, conducted a $400,000 hawala transfer for Mullah Omar. During the Taliban regime, the Taliban transferred $2.8 million from an account in Europe to Bari for fear that their accounts would be frozen. The Taliban would get money from Bari as they needed it, essentially using him as the Taliban's bank. Bari kept the money in bank accounts outside of Afghanistan so that the accounts would not be frozen by the new Afghan Government. Bari has also served as an intermediary in procuring weapons for the Taliban.
In addition to the reasons for which he is being designated, in March 2006, Pakistani newspaper Dawn reported that Bari was wanted by Interpol in Kabul in connection to cases regarding funding the Taliban and that Pakistan had frozen 31 bank accounts belonging to Bari, his brother, and their sons on charges of funneling money to the Taliban. Additionally, according to Pakistani media reporting in January 2006, Pakistan's Federal Investigation Agency Special Investigation Group (SIG) froze 15 bank accounts of two companies owned by Bari and his family members at Interpol's request. Taliban leader Mullah Omar reportedly had a share in both companies. SIG seized documents indicating one of the companies' involvement in transferring money to the Taliban, and Interpol said the companies were established during Taliban rule.
Name: Bakht Gul
AKA: Bakhta Gul
AKA: Bakht Gul Bahar
POB: Aki Village, Zadran District, Paktiya Province, Afghanistan
Residence: Miram Shah, North Waziristan, Federally Administered Tribal Areas, Pakistan
Name: Abdul Baqi Bari
AKA: Rais Abdul Bari Ishaqzai
AKA: 'Abd Al-Baqi Muhammad Ibrahim
AKA: 'Abd Labaqi Muhammad Ibrahim
AKA: Haji Abdul Bari
AKA: Abdul Bari
AKA: Abdul Baki
AKA: 'Abd Al-Bari
AKA: 'Abd Al-Baki
AKA: Abdul Baqi
DOB: 1 January 1953
Alt. DOB: 1952
POB: Kandahar, Afghanistan
Afghan Passport Number: 306749 (under name 'Abd Al-Baqi Muhammad Ibrahim)
Passport Expiration Date: 28 June 2014
Alt. Afghan Passport Number: 47168