Vienna, February 2 (BBC/NIA): top former US Ambassador of Afghan origin, Zalmay Khalilzad, is being investigated for alleged money-laundering through his wife’s bank account in Vienna, reports from Austria say.
Zalmay Khalilzad is accused of transferring $1.4 million (£0.9 million) to his wife’s account, Profil magazine reports.
The money is said to be linked to activities involving companies in Iraq and the United Arab Emirates.
Khalilzad was US Ambassador to Iraq and Afghanistan between 2003 and 2007.
According to court documents from May 2013 obtained by Profil Austrian authorities froze several Vienna-based accounts of his American-Austrian wife, the social scientist and author Cheryl Benard.
Ms Benard’s lawyer, Holger Bielesz, says the US authorities have yet to produce any “concrete evidence” against his client.
A decision on Ms Benard’s appeal for her account to be unfrozen is expected soon.
Zalmay Mamozy Khalilzad, born March 22, 1951 in Mazar-e-Sharif in Afghanistan, was also a counselor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and President of Gryphon Partners and Khalilzad Associates, an international business consulting firm based in Washington DC.
He was US Ambassador under President George W.Bush and has been involved with US policy makers at the top level since the mid-1980s, and was the highest-ranking Muslim American in the Bush administration. Khalilzad’s assignments in the Administration included US Ambassador to Afghanistan and Iraq.
Khalilzad received his PhD at the University of Chicago, where he studied closely with strategic thinker Albert Wohlstetter, a prominent nuclear deterrence thinker and strategist, who provided Khalilzad with contacts in the government and with RAND.
Khalilzad has written several articles on the subject of U.S. global leadership’s value in the mid-1990s. The specific scenarios for conflict he envisioned in the case of a decline in American power have made his writings extremely popular in the world of competitive high school and college policy debate, particularly his writing linking the loss of United States hegemony to global instability.
(The featured picture at the top is that of Zalmay Khalilzad)