Afghan Biographies

Bari, Abdul Baqi

Name Bari, Abdul Baqi
Ethnic backgr. Pashtun
Date of birth
Function/Grade Taliban Financier
History and Biodata

3. Biodata:
  Haji Abdul Bari's Special Company in Pakistan's border city of Peshawar and Amria Food Company in Islamabad were closed down and their accounts worth $5 million frozen recently. A search is going on for Bari, his brother Abdul Baqi, their family members and company officials suspected of financing the Taliban. An arrest warrant was issued for him  after the closure of his company and freezing of  accounts have worried Afghan businessmen in Pakistan, as intelligence operatives are hunting other suspects. Pakistani intelligence officials sealed the two companies on January 25, 2006 after the Interpol issued arrest warrants of their owners, who were allegedly financing Taliban fighters and had close relations with the movement's supreme leader Mullah Mohammad Omar. The two brothers had been doing business since 2003 The chief suspect Haji Abdul Bari is said to be  in the United Arabic Emirates and the Interpol had been on his trail.

Ali Shah Paktiawal, chief of the Interpol in Afghanistan, had earlier said in the twilight of the Taliban government, Mullah Omar had ordered the payment of $168 millions from Afghanistan's National Bank to some individuals, among whom Abdul Bari was top of the list. Recipients of the money have allegedly launched businesses inside and outside Afghanistan and have been funding 'terrorists' in the region.

In Kabul, an intelligence official, who requested anonymity, said Bari and his companies were tracked down in the wake of information obtained from Taliban's former spokesman Latifullah Hakimi, who is now in detention.

U.S. Treasury said that Abdul Baqi Bari "has served as a Taliban money launderer and financial manager since at least 2001."(20120515) He has used his businesses inside Afghanistan and in Pakistan to fund al Qaeda and Taliban operations, and has worked directly with both Mullah Omar and Osama bin Laden. Bari has used banks, money exchanges, and hawalas to mask the movement of large sums of cash.

Bari is known to have received, handled, and distributed millions of dollars in cash. "In the twilight of the Taliban government," Bari was one of several individuals to have received a portion of more than $168 million from Afghanistan's national bank. "Bari was at the top of the list, according to the chief of Interpol in Afghanistan," Treasury stated. Also in 2002, Bari disbursed "$2.6 million in Taliban money" to an unnamed associate "to deposit in separate bank accounts." Bari has interacted with al Qaeda in at least two instances. In 2001, Mullah Omar instructed Bari "to pay al Qaeda and Taliban supporters."

In 2002, Osama bin Laden "provided Bari and an associate $500,000 to purchase a  factory" for an unnamed company, "and Taliban personnel subsequently established satellite offices throughout Afghanistan," apparently using the company as cover for activities. Additionally, "Bari used money exchange businesses in Pakistan to funnel financial support to the Taliban and al Qaeda and, in one instance, conducted a $400,000 hawala transfer for Mullah Omar," Treasury stated.

In addition to serving as a top financial official for the Taliban and al Qaeda, Bari facilitated the purchase of weapons for the Taliban. In 2006, the Pakistani government is reported to have frozen 31 bank accounts belonging to Bari and his sons, as well as 15 accounts belonging to two companies owned by Bari, his family members, and Mullah Omar.

Last Modified 2012-05-18
Established 2012-05-18