US puts two Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin members on terror sanctions list

Saturday, March 12, 2016
US adds two explosives experts from Afghan extremist group Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin (HIG) to its terror sanctions list
Abdul Saboor (left) and Abdullah Nowbahar (right)
[Handout Images] 
By Abhinav Tripathi | Washington, DC: United States has added two explosives experts from Afghan extremist group Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin (HIG) to its terror sanctions list for their alleged key involvement in suicide attacks in Kabul.

“The Department of State has designated Abdullah Nowbahar and Abdul Saboor as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs) under section 1(b) of Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, which imposes sanctions on foreign persons that have committed, or pose a serious risk of committing, acts of terrorism that threaten the security of U.S. nationals or the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the United States,” the State Department said in a media release.

"As a result of these designations, all property subject to U.S. jurisdiction in which Abdullah Nowbahar and Abdul Saboor have any interest is blocked and U.S. persons are prohibited from engaging in any transactions with Nowbahar and Saboor," the release further read. 

In February last year, Washington had announced rewards for information on both Nowbahar and Saboor. The Secretary of State authorised a reward of up to $3 million for information on Saboor and up to $2 million on Nowbahar.

According to the State Department, "both Nowbahar and Saboor participated in the September 18, 2012 attack on a bus carrying foreign employees of Kabul International Airport that killed 12 people. Saboor is also responsible for a May 2013 suicide attack in Kabul that destroyed a U.S. armored vehicle, killing two soldiers and four U.S. civilian contractors; eight Afghans – including two children – were also killed and another 37 were wounded."

HIG is an offshoot of Hezb-e-Islami (“Party of Islam”), a political and paramilitary organisation founded in the year 1976 by Afghan warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar.

Interestingly, it was a part of US-backed resistance movement trying to battle out the Soviet Union during latter's occupation of Afghanistan. HIG now espouses "virulently anti-U.S. ideologies."

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