WASHINGTON: The US have blacklisted three key members of the Islamic State’s Khorasan Province (Daesh) also known as ISIS-K. The State Department in a statement said that three key members of ISIS-K have been blacklisted as “Specially Designated Global Terrorists” to ensure Afghanistan cannot again become a platform for international terrorism.
The blacklisted leaders include “Sanaullah Ghafari, also known as Shahab al-Muhajir, is ISIS-K’s current overall emir. He was appointed by the ISIS core to lead ISIS-K in June 2020. Ghafari is responsible for approving all ISIS-K operations throughout Afghanistan and arranging funding to conduct operations; Sultan Aziz Azam, also known as Sultan Aziz, has held the position of ISIS-K spokesperson since ISIS-K first came to Afghanistan; and Maulawi Rajab, also known as Maulawi Rajab Salahudin, is a senior leader of ISIS-K in Kabul Province, Afghanistan. Rajab plans ISIS-K’s attacks and operations and commands ISIS-K groups conducting attacks in Kabul,” read the statement.
In addition to the key members, the US Department of Treasury has sanctioned Ismatullah Khalozai for providing financial support to ISIS-K.
According to the statement, Khalozai has been an international financial facilitator for the group.
“Khalozai operated a Turkey-based hawala business to transfer funds to finance ISIS-K operations. He also operated a United Arab Emirates-based financing scheme, which involved sending luxury items to international destinations for resale, in an effort to generate funds for ISIS-K,” added the statement.
As a result of these actions, US persons are generally prohibited from engaging in any transactions with those designated today. Their property and interests in property subject to US jurisdiction are blocked.
Terrorist designations expose and isolate entities and individuals, and prevent them from exploiting the U.S. financial system. Moreover, designations can assist the law enforcement activities of US agencies and other relevant enforcement entities and governments. (ANI)
Talks with Taliban
The United States will resume talks with the Taliban next week in Qatar, addressing among other issues the fight against terrorism and the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.
The American delegation will be led by the US special representative for Afghanistan, Tom West, for the planned two weeks of discussions, State Department spokesman Ned Price said on Tuesday.
The two sides will discuss “our vital national interests” which include counterterrorism operations against the militant Islamic State group and Al-Qaeda, humanitarian assistance, Afghanistan’s devastated economy, and safe passage out of Afghanistan for US citizens and Afghans who worked for the United States during the 20-year war.
West met two weeks ago in Pakistan with representatives of the Taliban that seized power in August as US forces completed their withdrawal.
A first session between the two sides was held October 9-10 in the Qatari capital Doha, where US diplomats overseeing relations with Afghanistan transferred after the Taliban takeover.
West on Friday reiterated US conditions for the Taliban to receive US financial and diplomatic support: fight terrorism, install an inclusive government, respect the rights of minorities, women and girls, and provide equal access to educations and employment.
He said the United States would continue to have dialogue with the Taliban and for now provide only humanitarian aid.
Foreign minister of the Taliban government, Amir Khan Muttaqi, which is not recognised by the international community, called last week in an open letter to the US Congress for the release of Afghan assets frozen by the US.