An Afghan identified as one of the world’s most wanted drug kingpins has been extradited from Afghanistan to the U.S. to face drug smuggling and other charges, the New York Times reports. Baz Mohammad, 47, was accused of leading an organization that smuggled heroin worth $25 million into this country in a 15-year operation that controlled poppy fields in Afghanistan, heroin refining plants there and in Pakistan, and a trafficking network that reached around the world to the streets of major American cities.
Mohammad was accused of using drug profits to support terrorism and the Taliban, the Islamic fundamentalist party that formerly ruled Afghanistan and was allied with Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden. While the Taliban was ousted by American troops in 2001, it has remained a force along the eastern border with Pakistan, and the drug money bought its protection for poppy crops, heroin laboratories, shipments and conspirators. Karen Tandy, administrator of the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, called Mohammad “one of the world’s most wanted, most powerful and most dangerous drug kingpins,” adding, “We’ve made history today.”