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Afghan Taliban Launch Al-Khandaq Jihadi Operations, Say The 'Primary Target Will Be The American Invaders'

The following report is now a complimentary offering from MEMRI's Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor (JTTM). For JTTM subscription information, click here.

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (the Taliban organization, which ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001) has launched its Al-Khandaq Jihadi Operations, which are aimed primarily at American soldiers and their intelligence agents.

The campaign appears to be named after the Battle of the Trench (Ghazwa-e-Khandaq), which is part of Islamic history and took place in 627CE. The Islamic Emirate issued a statement announcing the launch of the Al-Khandaq Jihadi Operations on April 25, 2018.

The statement began with a Koranic verse: "And when the believers saw the Confederates, they said, 'This is what Allah and His Messenger promised us; and Allah and His Messenger spoke the truth.' And it only added to their faith and submission. (Chapter Al-Ahzab, Verse 22)." The Battle of the Trench is also known as the Battle of the Confederates (Ghazwa-e-Ahazab).

Given below is the text of the statement:

"The Existence Of Multiple American Bases [In Afghanistan]... Through Which America Sabotages All Chances Of Peace"

"Our respected Mujahid Nation!

"You realize that some areas of our beloved homeland are still under the infidel occupation of American invaders and their allied forces. The difference is that in the previous years of occupation, mainly mujahideen, civilian people and rural areas were the prime targets of the aerial and ground attacks of foreign occupying force. But now mosques, religious educational centers and their innocent students have been added to the list and the indiscriminate bombardment of [a graduation ceremony at] a religious madrassa in Dast-i-Archi district of Kunduz province is an instance at hand.

"The continuation of the legitimate jihadi resistance against the foreign invaders and their internal and external supporters is deemed as a legal, moral and security obligation by the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan as a defending force of the pious values of our sacred religion of Islam and the territorial integrity of our homeland. Like past, this year too, for the sake of well-coordinated and better-organized military activities, the Al-Khandaq Jihadi Operations will be launched for the following reasons:

"*Both our land and air space is under the control of foreign occupying forces and our religious sanctities as well as helpless people are indiscriminately being targeted. Religious scholars, students memorizing the Holy Koran, tribal chieftains and Afghan masses are ruthlessly martyred. Complete towns, health centers, sacred places, green crops and blooming orchards are uprooted. Thousands of our innocent countrymen are incarcerated and the stooge officials of the puppet regime [in Kabul] are completely helpless in inhibiting this brutality of the American invaders. Rather they collaborate with them by bearing the felonies of the foreign occupying forces in most cases.

"*Besides sustaining the ongoing illegitimate occupation, the newly adopted war strategy of [U.S. President Donald] Trump has been ruthlessly implemented in the villages and rural areas against our oppressed Afghan people for the past nine months. Thousands of additional foreign forces are being deployed inside Afghanistan and they are supplied with new devastating weapons and vast military authorities.

"*The existence of multiple American bases set up under the 'Strategic Agreement' between the American invaders and the puppet regime in Kabul are reasons through which America sabotages all chances of peace and plays crucial and decisive role in intensifying and prolonging the ongoing war in Afghanistan while rejecting the policy of the Islamic Emirate for peaceful negotiations.

"*Besides the overall anarchy prevailing in the areas controlled by the American invaders and their stooge administration in Kabul, numerous evident and secret centers for obscenity, alcohol, licentious movies, invitation to revoked religion [i.e. missionary activities by Christians] and various other illegitimate activities continue to operate."

"The Battle Of Al-Khandaq Proved To Be A Decisive Defeat For The Infidel Forces, As They Lost All Hope Of Ever Invading The Holy City Of Medina"

"On top of the above aggressive, ideological and licentious ambitions of their American masters, the deceptive efforts launched by the ineffectual and corrupt officials of the puppet regime inside and outside the country are nothing but a conspiracy orchestrated by the foreign occupiers for enervating, crushing and eventually pacifying the ongoing legitimate Afghan resistance, and are not efforts for ending the war and restoring lasting peace.

"Their main effort is to deviate the public opinion from the illegitimate foreign occupation of the country, as the Americans have no serious or sincere intentions of bringing the war to an end. Rather, they want to intensify and prolong it by engulfing Afghanistan as well as the whole region in its flames, thus securing chances of their further influence and interference.

"Therefore, Islamic teachings and the explicit verses of the Holy Koran command and compel the Muslims towards reciprocal conduct to defend their creed and country and defeat the aggression of the hostile infidel enemy.

"The Almighty Allah says: [Arabic words deleted]... So whoso transgresses against you, punish him for his transgression to the extent to which he has transgressed against you. And fear Allah and know that Allah is with those who fear him. [Chapter Al-Baqra, Verse 194]

"In compliance with these Koranic instructions and for the sake of defending our Islamic values, our homeland and the violated rights of its people, the Islamic Emirate is launching the Al-Khandaq Jihadi Operations of current year with the help of Almighty Allah and the absolute support of its Muslim masses against the foreign occupying forces and their internal backers.

"This year jihadi operations were termed as Al-Khandaq operations with an optimism as the ongoing jihadi situation resembles the conditions of the early era of Islam when different confederates of the enemies of Islam – after having been badly defeated in the Battle of Badr – formed a coalition under various banners in the fifth year of Hijri calendar and decided to exercise force and wage war to crush the Islamic rule in Medina Munawwara (the radiant city).

"But contrary to all their expectations, the result of this huge invasion of the infidel forces which is remembered as 'The Battle of Confederates' or 'The Battle of the Trench,' was completely altered by Almighty Allah. Instead of annihilating the Muslims, the Battle of Al-Khandaq proved to be a decisive defeat for the infidel forces, as they lost all hope of ever invading the holy city of Medina. And our Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to say that from now we will attack them and they will not be able to attack us. This was the beginning of perpetual victories for the mujahideen and successive defeats for the infidel forces."

"Its Primary Target Will Be The American Invaders And Their Intelligence Agents; Their Internal Supporters Will Be Dealt With As A Secondary Target"

"The planning and strategy of Al-Khandaq Jihadi Operations are organized by the expert and proficient skilled cadre of the Military Commission of the Islamic Emirate which is based on guerrilla, offensive, infiltrated and various other new and intricate tactics against the new war strategy of the enemy, mainly focusing on crushing, killing and capturing American invaders and their supporters.

"Its primary target will be the American invaders and their intelligence agents. Their internal supporters will be dealt with as a secondary target while the present and future mischievous plots of the mischief-mongers will be nipped in the bud. Allah willing!

"These operations will be launched on 09/08/1439 corresponding with 25/04/2018 of this year with the help of Almighty Allah throughout the country, beginning with the cries of 'Allah-o-Akbar' (Allah is the Greatest), a terror casting and heart piercing war cry for the enemy.

"With the inauguration of these operations, the attention of our heroic Mujahidin is drawn towards the following:

"Since our jihad is purely for the sake of Almighty Allah and our sole objective is to uplift the Word of Allah and to establish an Islamic system of life, hence each of our jihadi move should be in complete compliance with the rules and regulations of the Islamic Emirate and demarcated by Islamic Shari'a.

"As defined by the Holy Koran... 'harsh towards the disbelievers and merciful among themselves,' all mujahideen should be sympathetic toward the Muslim masses and should be harsh toward the enemy. Therefore, special attention should be paid to protecting the lives and properties of the civilian people and all precautionary measures should be taken while attacking a target.

"We expect that our mujahid masses will fully partake in Al-Khandaq Jihadi Operations through their increased support for mujahideen while remaining at sufficient distance from all enemy bases and convoys so that they are not unnecessarily harmed during these operations.

"Our mujahideen brothers should fully observe sincerity, devotion, modesty, trust in Allah, obedience, consultation and seeking Allah's guidance in each and every jihadi activity. They should adopt the following dua (prayer) as their regular and daily practice for revivification of Sunnah which was largely recited by the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) during the Battle of Ahzab.

"[Arabic words deleted]... (O Allah, the Revealer of the Book, Mover of the Clouds, Defeater of the Confederates; defeat them and grant us victory over them.)"

Source: (Afghanistan), April 25, 2018. The original English of the statement has been lightly edited for clarity and standardization.