The United States has frozen all assets of a Taliban explosives manufacturer that are in the United States or controlled by Americans. The U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, or OFAC, designated improvised explosive devices facilitator Abdul Samad Achekzai for acting on the behalf of the Taliban based on a 2001 executive order. As a result, U.S. entities are prohibited from engaging in transactions with Achekzai.
This is the first time sanctions have been specifically targeted at the Taliban’s improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, manufacturer and support network. “As a key official in the Taliban’s IED supply network, Abdul Samad Achekzai is responsible for untold death and suffering,” said Adam Szubin, director of OFAC. “IEDs are the leading cause of casualties among coalition troops and civilians in Afghanistan, and we must do everything in our power to expose and disrupt the purveyors of these deadly devices.”
As recently as mid-2010, Achekzai was assigned responsibility for procuring and storing IED components, constructing detonators and providing IED training in support of Taliban fighters in western and southern Afghanistan.
Achekzai also has participated in attacks. As early as 2011, Achekzai was working with a Taliban member to assassinate an Afghan Border Police commander and had recruited a suicide bomber for the operation. Additionally, in early 2011, Achekzai deployed five suicide bombers to Afghanistan to conduct attacks on Coalition Forces and Afghan authorities. In early 2010, Achekzai sent five Taliban suicide bombers to Kandahar to target Afghan authorities.
The U.S. Government will continue to isolate the Taliban and global terrorist organizations from the international financial system and ensure that their access to funds to carry out terrorist attacks in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and elsewhere is cut off.