2010 ransom transaction between terror group and Afghan government used cash that came from monthly US donations, NY Times investigation finds
About $1 million of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency’s money, given to a secret Afghan government fund in 2010, ended up in al Qaeda’s possession after it was used to pay part of a ransom for a diplomat kidnapped by the terror group, the New York Times reported on Saturday.
The CIA regularly bankrolled that coffer with monthly cash deliveries to the presidential palace in Kabul, as it has done for more than a decade. Along with another $4 million total provided by several other countries, the Afghan government paid off a $5 million ransom demanded by al Qaeda in exchange for freeing Afghan general consul Abdul Khaliq Farahi, kidnapped in Pakistan in 2008.
As a previous Times investigation revealed in 2013, the CIA provided monthly cash deliveries to support then-President Hamid Karzai’s relatives and aides and to solicit influence over domestic politics—but just as often, it “fueled corruption and empowered warlords.”
Letters regarding the payment were found in the 2011 Navy SEAL raid which killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. They were submitted as evidence during the trial of Abid Naseer, who was convicted this month of supporting terrorism and planning to bomb a shopping center in Manchester, England.