The following report is now a complimentary offering from MEMRI's Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor (JTTM). For JTTM subscription information, click here.
In a video recently released online, the Islamic State Khurasan Province (ISIS-K) has accused the Afghan Taliban rulers of working "tirelessly to protect infidels" and of being always willing to offer anything to protect the peace of the unbeliever world in keeping with the 2020 Doha agreement.
The 12-minute video, titled "Yes! So Was The Agreement," was produced and released by Al-Azaim Foundation, the media arm of ISIS-K, and is accompanied by English commentary. The video features historical photographs of Afghan mujahideen leaders with the chiefs of Pakistani military Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), which is seen as the creator and protector of jihadi organizations.
The video criticizes the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA, i.e., the Afghan Taliban) for signing the 2020 Doha Agreement with the United States. "They [the Taliban] are working tirelessly day and night to protect infidels. They are ready to offer anything in order to protect the peace of the infidel world and nurture and maintain a strong friendship with them," the video states.
The video shows images of the Taliban jihadi leaders – including Jalaluddin Haqqani, father of the current Taliban interior minister Sirajuddin Haqqani and the head of the dreaded Haqqani Network – with the former Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief Lt.-General Hamid Gul. Photos of the current leaders of the Afghan Taliban with former ISI chief Lt.-General Faiz Hameed also appear. The accompanying commentary declares that Pakistan's premier spy agency, the ISI, has trained the Afghan Taliban leaders at its centers, teaching them deception, betrayal, and other types of conspiratorial techniques.
"Accordingly, they [Afghan Taliban rulers] are not ashamed of anything now and they do not recognize any values in the name of honor as they are ready to do anything to retain their rule over Afghanistan and they are ready to play any game," the commentary says.
Regarding the U.S. drone strike that killed Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in Kabul on July 31, 2022, the video says that the Taliban first strongly denied that it was a drone strike and declared it to be a normal missile attack in order to "hide their historical shame" and complicity with the U.S. The video asserts that there "are different groups in their organization" working at cross-purposes.
Zabihullah Mujahid, Afghan Taliban spokesman
Against the backdrop of various Taliban leaders including the spokesman of the Afghan Taliban Qatar Office Dr. Mohammad Naeem Wardak, Taliban government spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, and other Taliban leaders giving accounts of the U.S. drone strike, the video observes that different Taliban members had made contradictory statements about the drone strike.
"Dr. Naeem, a spokesman based in the largest U.S. intelligence base, Qatar, clearly said that the U.S. has the right to carry out such attacks for its own defense," the video says while showing Dr. Naeem Wardak speaking to Al-Jazeera TV.
To support its claim that the Taliban government is cooperating with the United States, the ISIS-K video includes a clip of Dr. Naeem Wardak's interview in which he says that "there is a clause in the Doha Agreement between the U.S. and the Taliban which indicates the right of any side to defend themselves against any danger. That's only in the case of self-defense." He goes on to say that any country can defend itself against any real and confirmed threat inside Afghanistan.
Contrasting the images of U.S. President Joe Biden at a press conference with the scenes of the Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid at a craft exhibition talking to some women, the ISIS-K video states that "the American masters" of the Afghan Taliban had announced the killing of the Al-Qaeda chief in a drone strike in Kabul while the Taliban were busy taking selfies with women.
The video affirms that the Taliban are deceiving the people of Afghanistan by first saying that the drone strikes had been agreed to in the Doha Agreement and then condemning it as a violation of the same treaty.
"Because of this strike, which was technically assisted by the Taliban and had been ordered by Pakistan's ISI, the old man [Ayman Al-Zawahiri], who was loyal to the Taliban militia, was killed. Al-Zawahiri, who had been executing the instructions of ISI through Taliban, may have failed to follow some of their instructions recently; so he was transferred to Kabul and was killed by the American drone," the video says, adding that the killing of Zawahiri is a warning to all in the Taliban ranks that if they do not follow the instructions of ISI properly, they will meet the same fate.
Urging the Taliban members to join ISIS-K, the video says: "Now once again, we invite those organizations and individuals who are under the [control] of ISI and pledge allegiance to the Taliban movement to come and join the Islamic State and save themselves from such shameful deeds of betrayal. This is a golden opportunity for you. If you don't do it, you will be sold out and you will become victims of the Doha Agreement and you will be tied to the interest of America. Your fate will not be different from that of Al-Zawahiri."
In Doha, the Taliban and the U.S. had signed two confidential agreements in addition to the publicly announced pact. The video says that the Taliban are implementing the secret deal with the United States. The commentary to the video and some of the clips are previously released materials from the ISIS-K Pashtu and Urdu publications and videos.
The photos show the mujahideen leaders with Lt.-Gen. Hamid Gul, the ISI chief who steered the CIA-backed Afghan jihad against the USSR in Afghanistan during the 1980s. Additionally, there are photos of Lt.-Gen. Faiz Hameed who, as the ISI chief, visited the Afghan Taliban leaders in Kabul a few weeks after they seized power in mid-August 2021.
The late ISI chief Lt.-Gen. Hamid Gul (right) with Jalaluddin Haqqani, the late founder of Haqqani Network and father of the current Afghan Taliban Interior Minister Sirajuddin Haqqani.
Lt.-Gen. Hamid Gul with mujahideen leaders in Afghanistan; Gul supervised the U.S.-aided Afghan jihad against the USSR during the 1980s.
Lt.-Gen. Faiz Hameed, the ISI chief at the time, visiting Afghan Taliban leaders in Kabul in September 2021, weeks after the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan. Hameed is currently commander of the Pakistan Army's XXXI Corps.
A prayer led by the Afghan mujahideen leader Abdulrab Rasul Sayyaf (left) along with other mujahideen leaders and Lt.-Gen. Hamid Gul (eighth from the left in a white cap).
Mullah Baradar Akhund, the Taliban deputy leader who negotiated the 2020 Doha agreement with the U.S. in Qatar, shaking hands with Lt.-Gen. Faiz Hameed.
Pakistan's then foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi (left, served from 2018 to 2022) meeting with Afghan Taliban foreign minister Amir Khan Muttaqi.
Source: Telegram, September 22, 2022.
The full text of this post is available to subscribers.
Please login or register to request subscription information from MEMRI