Obama administration targets Taliban associate

The agency designated Mullah Ahmed Shah Noorzai, also known as Ahmed Shah, under a George W. Bush-era executive order targeting terrorists and their supporters. The action blocks all assets within U.S. jurisdiction.

Shah, 28, owns and operates the Roshan Money Exchange (RMX), which stores and transfers funds and profits in support of the Taliban’s military operations and its role in the Afghan narcotics trade. 

“We will continue to target financial activity linked to the Taliban as they increasingly turn to exchange houses to fund their continued violence,” said Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David S. Cohen. “These financial networks are instrumental in funneling money for terrorist operations and they are also deeply involved in managing the illicit revenues of the Taliban’s vast narcotics trade.”

Also Tuesday, the United Nations added Ahmed Shah to the official list of Taliban associates who “constitute a threat to the peace, stability and security of Afghanistan,” the Treasury Department said.

Shah is considered a trusted “hawaladar,” or operator of a money exchange house, and is alleged to have transferred millions of dollars to the Taliban in recent years.