Islamic Emirate Of Afghanistan (IEA), Which Issued False Statements In Name Of Mohammad Omar For Years After He Had Died, Issues Eid-ul-Fitr Statement In Name Of Leader Hibbatullah Akhundzada, Who It Cannot Prove Is Alive

May 5, 2022

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

On April 29, 2022, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (the Afghan Taliban jihadi organization that took over Afghanistan in August 2021) issued a statement from its emir Mullah Hibbatullah Akhundzada greeting Afghans and Muslims around the world on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr, which marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. It was celebrated in Afghanistan on May 2, 2022.

The statement comes amid continuing media reports that Mullah Hibbatullah Akhundzada may be dead, as no photo or video clips have emerged of him in recent years, and no Afghan appears to have met with him in person. Also, when the Islamic Emirate seized power, it did not appoint him as the supreme head of the government.

The issuance of the annual Eid-ul-Fitr statement itself raises further questions that Mullah Hibbatullah Akhundzada is not alive because there is a precedent for the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) issuing such false statements in the form of Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha in the name of Mullah Mohammad Omar, founder of the Afghan Taliban jihadi organization, for several years after he had died. For more on this topic, see MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 9679, Is Afghan Taliban Emir Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada Even Alive? – Afghan Writer Haroon Amirzada: 'The Taliban Are A Complex Terrorist Network Whose Head Is In Afghanistan But Their Tail Is Still... In Pakistan', December 13, 2021."[1]

The annual statement issued in the name of Mullah Hibbatullah Akhundzada also appears to be fake, as if written by someone acting for him. It is for the first time in around two decades that the Eid message from the Afghan Taliban leader does not begin with customary Islamic prayer "Bismillahir Raḥmanir Raḥeem [In the Name of Allah the Merciful, the Compassionate]." Until now, the Taliban leaders' statements have always begun with these words, or their English translation, followed by Koran verses relevant to the occasion.

Following is the statement issued in the name of Mullah Hibbatullah Akhundzada:[2]

"The Jihad, Sacrifice, And Efforts Of All Mujahideen Of The Islamic Emirate And Those Who Strive For Achieving The Freedom And Independence Of The Country Is Commendable"

"To Muslim and mujahid nation of Afghanistan and all Muslims around the world!

"1. I would like to extend my heartfelt congratulations to all of you on the arrival of Eid-ul-Fitr. May Allah the almighty accept all our fasting, prayers, charities, and good deeds.

"I am immensely grateful to almighty Allah that we are celebrating Eid-ul-Fitr this year at a time while our country is completely free of foreign invasion. After 43-year, the long, lasting, and devastating war has finally ended and now under the shade of Islamic rule, the ground has been prepared for a peaceful and prosperous life in Afghanistan.

"2. Dear Compatriots!

"The jihad, sacrifice, and efforts of all mujahideen of the Islamic Emirate and those who strive for achieving the freedom and independence of the country is commendable; and I pray to Allah to reward each individual in this world and in the hereafter.

"May Allah the almighty, accept the sacrifices, martyrdoms, and jihad of our mujahedeen in the last two decades; may Allah reward the disabled, refugees, wounded, and the prisoners, and empower us to look after the widows and orphans.

"3. Since Afghanistan is no more under foreign invasion, therefore, it is time for all Afghans to come together and work for the development, prosperity, and welfare of their country.

"Security is the prime condition for development and prosperity, and fortunately, the IEA forces have ensured security with immense sacrifices; now, it is duty of all Afghans to work hard and rebuild their country; and serve [the] poor and needy people with integrity and courage."

"If Anyone Disobeys The Amnesty And Tries To Start A War In The Country, Then They Will Face A Harsh And Severe Reaction"

"4. Dear Compatriots!

"[The] Islamic Emirate has granted a general amnesty to all of its oppositions and has implemented it in practice. On the basis of this amnesty, I once again invite all Afghans to come to their country and live peacefully. This country is no longer capable of carrying out any conspiracy. However, if anyone disobeys the amnesty and tries to start a war in the country, then they will face a harsh and severe reaction and the nation will allow none to disturb the peace and security of the country through foreign encouragement.

This photo, believed to be old, is the only photo of Mullah Hibbatullah Akhundzada.

"5. I invite all Afghans who have left the country to return to Afghanistan. This country is our common home where every Afghan has the right to live in peace and harmony. No one is seeking to continue enmity with you, nor do they want to see any Afghan harassed. All returnees have been embraced with dignity and are living peacefully in their home[s], therefore, you should also return to your homeland and leave behind the life of forced migration in other countries.

"6. The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan attaches great importance to reconstruction of the country for which it has assigned a competent economic committee to utilize all existing capacities toward the development of the country. Also, the national traders, financiers, and industrialists are empowered to play their role in Afghanistan's reconstruction. The Islamic Emirate will stand behind and strongly support all construction projects and efforts.

"I invite domestic and foreigner investors to invest in Afghanistan; the Islamic Emirate will cooperate with you and will provide all necessary means and facilities."

"There Is A Binding Doha Agreement Between The Islamic Emirate And The United States In Line With Which The U.S. Shall Not Interfere In Afghanistan's Internal Affairs"

"7. The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan wants positive relations with the countries of the region and the world. We allow none to pose a threat to other countries from Afghanistan and we also want other countries to engage with us on mutual respect.

"There is a binding Doha agreement between the Islamic Emirate and the United States in line with which the U.S. shall not interfere in Afghanistan's internal affairs. We continue to emphasize full implementation of the Doha agreement and to move forward in the spirit of cooperation instead of pressure. The Islamic Emirate has implemented its commitments and will continue to do so.

"8. Undoubtedly, the world has transformed into a small village; the interactions between the countries are interrelated; Afghanistan has its role in world peace and security; according to this need, the world should recognize the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan so that we may address our problems formally and within diplomatic norms and principles.

"9. We call on our neighboring and other respective countries to treat Afghan refugees in line with international practices and standards, give them time and permission to return to their homeland voluntarily and with dignity. Violation of human rights is not in the interest of anyone, rather it causes constant hatred and animosity between the nations.

"I also call on the UN and international institutions to provide opportunities for Afghans to return back to their homeland."

"We Respect And Are Committed To All The Shari'a Rights Of Men And Women In Afghanistan"; "Do Not Use This Humanitarian And Emotional Issue [About Girls Banned By The Taliban From Going To School] As A Tool For Political Ends"

"10. Promotion of good deeds and prevention of evil is the prime duty of any Islamic system. However, the relevant authorities should invite people toward shari'a with wisdom and avoid extremism in this regard.

"The nation should also cooperate with relevant authorities in practicing good deeds and preventing evil. This way, we can jointly clean our country from the rebellion and sin and fulfill our Islamic responsibility.

"11. Cultivation of poppy and all types of narcotics is strictly prohibited in Afghanistan; Afghans should respect and obey the decree [issued in this regard]; continuation of such act threatens the lives of millions of our countrymen.

"The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan seeks to address the problems of farmers and the countrymen in general by providing alternative livelihoods, cultivation, and other means. We also call on the international community to assist the Afghan people, particularly farmers, to find alternative livelihoods and cultivation, and we urged them to understand the importance of this matter and to take practical steps toward assisting the Islamic Emirate and the people of Afghanistan.

"12. We respect and are committed to all the shari'a rights of men and women in Afghanistan; no one should worry about it; and do not use this humanitarian and emotional issue [about the Taliban banning girls from going to school] as a tool for political ends. Compared to the last 20 years, Afghans now enjoy more of their rights, such as life, security, and dignity, which cannot be ignored.

A screenshot of the statement

"13. The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan is working to strengthen education and learning, opening new schools, and madrassas in many central and remote areas of the country for religious and modern education, and providing a safe environment for education. It has provided timely salaries to teachers and lecturers and provided curriculum to them.

"IEA is committed to take further steps in this regard, as education is the key to rescue our compatriots and pave the way toward country's development and prosperity."

"Our Broadcasting Outlets, Both Governmental And Private, Must Take Into Consideration Interests Of Our People And Broadcast Constructive Programs In Line With Our Islamic Beliefs And Legitimate Customs"

"14. The Islamic Emirate is also committed to freedom of speech in the light of national interests and Islamic values ​​and supports healthy and positive broadcasts. Our broadcasting outlets, both governmental and private, must take into consideration interests of our people and broadcast constructive programs in line with our Islamic beliefs and legitimate customs.

"15. As different sectors of Afghanistan have been affected by the long-lasting war, our health sector has also been severely affected. We call on the international health organizations and aid institutions to help the people of Afghanistan in this regard. The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan will provide all necessary means to improve the capacity of health sector in the country.

"16. In the past few months, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan has been able to lay the foundations of a strong Islamic and national army for the defense of the country, as well as an effective police force for social security and a strong intelligence organization to protect national interests. We built this on our own; our forces have very high moral and purpose that will strongly defend the country and will not allow anyone to harm Afghanistan's soil, security, and interests.

"17. All officials, mujahideen, and employees of the Islamic Emirate are instructed to treat the people kindly and gently and do not misbehave with Afghans.

"Also be very careful with the treasury, the treasury is a trust, which is given at your disposal, no one has the right to misappropriate, waste, betray, and personalize it, if anyone is careless with the treasury, he will be treated harshly by the Islamic Emirate and Allah almighty will deal with him severely.

"I urge all the rich and wealthy people of the country not to neglect their poor and needy fellow citizens during these auspicious days, rather to help them and lend them a helping hand.

"To conclude, I once again wish you all a happy and joyful Eid-ul-Fitr; may Allah the almighty grant our country lasting peace, security and prosperity.


"Sheikh-ul-Hadith Hibbatullah Akhundzada,

"The Supreme Leader of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan."


[2] (Afghanistan), April 29, 2022. The original English of the statement has been lightly edited for clarity and standardization.

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