WSJ News Exclusive | U.S. Rules Out Releasing Billions in Afghan Funds After Strike

The Biden administration has decided it won’t release any of the roughly $7 billion in foreign assets held by Afghanistan’s central bank on U.S. soil and has suspended talks with the Taliban over the funds after the killing of al Qaeda’s leader in Kabul, according to U.S. officials.

The decision reverses early indications of progress in talks between the U.S. and the Taliban and deals a blow to hopes of an economic recovery in Afghanistan as millions face starvation a year into the group’s rule. The U.S. drone strike that killed al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri late last month exposed deep rifts within the movement and fanned concerns in the West about a resurgence of global terrorism emanating from Afghanistan.