US levies sanctions on Haqqani commander, others

The U.S. Treasury Department on Thursday announced new sanctions on five individuals it said are linked to “the most dangerous terrorist organizations operating in Afghanistan and Pakistan.”

“These financiers and facilitators provide the fuel for the Taliban, Haqqani Network and al-Qaeda to realize their violent aspirations,” Treasury under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David Cohen said in a statement.

As a result of the action, U.S. companies and individuals are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with the targeted individuals and any assets they hold under U.S.jurisdiction are frozen, Treasury said.

The group includes Abdul Aziz Abbasin, who the Treasury Department described as a “key commander in the Haqqani Network,” which is headed by Sirajuddin Haqqani and accused of a series of high-profile attacks.

“Abbasin commands a group of Taliban fighters and has assisted in running a training camp for foreign fighters in Paktika Province, and also has been involved in ambushing supply vehicles of Afghan government forces and the transport of weapons to Afganistan,” Treasury said.

Also targeted was Haiji Faizullah Khan Noorzai, who Treasury said was a prominent Taliban financier, and his brother, Haiji Malik Noorzai, a Pakistan-based businessman. The two have invested “millions of dollars in various businesses for the Taliban,” Treasury said.

It also designated Abdur Rehman, who Treasury described as Taliban facilitator and fundraiser, and Fazal Rahim, who Treasury said was a financial facilitator for al Qaeda and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan.