US blacklists 3 leaders, financial facilitator for Afghan affiliate of Islamic State | Inquirer News

US blacklists 3 leaders, financial facilitator for Afghan affiliate of Islamic State

/ 07:14 AM November 23, 2021
The United Nations (UN) envoy to Afghanistan on Wednesday delivered a bleak assessment of the situation following the Taliban takeover, saying that an affiliate of the Islamic State group has grown and now appears present in nearly all 34 provinces.

A Taliban fighter stands guard at the site of a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan, November 17, 2021. REUTERS/Ali Khara

WASHINGTON — The United States on Monday imposed sanctions on three leaders of Islamic State’s Afghanistan branch and another man it accused of acting as a financial facilitator for the group, in a move that follows a series of attacks in Kabul claimed by the militant group.

The State Department on Monday named the group’s emir, Sanaullah Ghafari, spokesperson Sultan Aziz Azam and Kabul province leader Maulaw Rajab as Specially Designated Global Terrorists, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.

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The U.S. Treasury Department also blacklisted Ismatullah Khalozai, accusing him of operating a Turkey-based informal money-moving network, known as a hawala, to transfer funds to finance the Islamic State-Khorasan Province.

“Today’s designation underscores the United States’ determination to prevent ISIS-K and its members from exploiting the international financial system to support terrorist acts in Afghanistan and beyond,” said Andrea Gacki, director of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, using a common name for Islamic State-Khorasan Province.

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The U.N. envoy to Afghanistan last week delivered a bleak assessment of the situation following the Taliban takeover, saying that the affiliate of the Islamic State group has grown and now appears present in nearly all 34 provinces.

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TAGS: Afghanistan, ISIS-K, Islamic State, Maulaw Rajab, Sanaullah Ghafari, Sultan Aziz Azam, Taliban, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken
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