Afghan Taliban Reject U.S. Defense Department Report Accusing Them Of Continuing To Have Relations With Al-Qaeda

August 21, 2020

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

On August 20, 2020, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (the Taliban organization) released a statement rejecting a U.S. Department of Defense report that had accused it of continuing to nurture relations with Al-Qaeda.

The statement, issued by Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, said: "The Islamic Emirate strongly rejects this report and considers such remarks a campaign promoting specific and malicious objectives. Our mujahideen are strong enough to combat the enemy and are not in need of support from any foreign side or organization."[1]

In mid-July 2020, MEMRI published a detailed analysis of a report prepared by the UN Monitoring Team and submitted to the UN Security Council, which described detailed connections between Al-Qaeda and the Islamic Emirate (the Afghan Taliban).[2] According to the UN report, the Islamic Emirate had continued to be in active contact with Al-Qaeda, even during the 18 months of negotiations with the United States on Afghanistan, which resulted in a deal signed in Doha.[3]

As per the statement issued by Zabihullah Mujahid, the U.S. Department of Defense stated that "members of Al-Qaeda organization continued to support the Islamic Emirate in [terror] attacks."[4] The Taliban spokesman criticized the Department of Defense report, stating: "Such provocative reports only serve to make Afghans even more skeptical about U.S. intentions for peace. American officials, politicians and astute parties must not fall into the trap of baseless allegations and not become victims of false reports and information pushed by some warmongering circles present within the American military apparatus."[5]

The Taliban spokesman added: "The Islamic Emirate has committed itself in the Doha agreement to preventing harm to the United States and its allies from Afghan soil. We remain committed to the aforementioned agreement and have so far implemented and will continue to honor our part of the agreement."[6] As part of the Doha agreement, signed on February 29, 2020, the Taliban are not expected to harbor Al-Qaeda.


[1] (Afghanistan), August 20, 2020.

[4] (Afghanistan), August 20, 2020.

[5] (Afghanistan), August 20, 2020.

[6] (Afghanistan), August 20, 2020.

The Cyber & Jihad Lab

The Cyber & Jihad Lab monitors, tracks, translates, researches, and analyzes cyber jihad originating from the Middle East, Iran, South Asia, and North and West Africa. It innovates and experiments with possible solutions for stopping cyber jihad, advancing legislation and initiatives federally – including with Capitol Hill and attorneys-general – and on the state level, to draft and enforce measures that will serve as precedents for further action. It works with leaders in business, law enforcement, academia, and families of terror victims to craft and support efforts and solutions to combat cyber jihad, and recruits, and works with technology industry leaders to craft and support efforts and solutions.

Read More