In Meeting With Afghan Taliban Interior Minister Sirajuddin Haqqani, Who Is On FBI's Most Wanted List, Turkish Ambassador Assures Taliban: 'Turkey Will Never Allow Any [Opposition] Movement To Operate From Its Soil Against The Islamic Emirate'

January 28, 2022

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In a meeting with the Afghan Taliban's acting Interior Minister Sirajuddin Haqqani, the jihadi commander on FBI's list of most wanted persons, Cihad Erginay, Turkey's Ambassador to Afghanistan, assured the Taliban leadership that "Turkey will not allow anyone to operate on its soil against the Islamic Emirate [the Taliban jihadi organization which seized power on August 15, 2021]."[1] The Taliban government is yet to be recognized by the international community.

Taliban Minister Sirajuddin Haqqani never shows his face on camera

Sirajuddin Haqqani, the head of the Haqqani Network of the Islamic Emirate, is the most influential person in the Taliban government and has a bounty of $10 million on his head under the U.S. Rewards for Justice Program.[2] On its website, the FBI notes that Sirajuddin Haqqani is wanted "in connection with the January 2008 attack on a hotel in Kabul, Afghanistan, that killed six people, including an American citizen" and for coordinating and participating "in cross-border attacks against United States and coalition forces in Afghanistan."[3]

According to a report by Afghanistan's state-run Bakhtar News Agency, a delegation led by Turkish ambassador Cihad Erginay met on January 19, 2022, with Sirajuddin Haqqani, who has refused to show his face to the camera in meetings with various leaders in Kabul since the Taliban formed an interim government. "Turks have historical relations with Afghans and the Afghans supported Turks in their freedom struggle," Bakhtar News quoted Cihad Erginay as saying during his meeting.[4] On Twitter, the Islamic Emirate changed the spelling of Cihad Erginay's first name so it read Jihad Erginay, making its meaning clear to jihadi audiences.[5]

Sirajuddin Haqqani is on the FBI's most wanted list

At the meeting, the Turkish ambassador told Sirajuddin Haqqani: "We stayed here for the support of Afghans at a time when all the countries pulled out [of Afghanistan] and closed their diplomatic missions."[6] He added that various Turkish aid agencies are working in Afghanistan to help Afghans.

According to Bakhtar News Agency's Pashtu-language report, Sirajuddin Haqqani asked Turkey to return Afghans who have fled to escape the Taliban rule, saying: "The people who have any fear of the Islamic Emirate and who have fled to Turkey also enjoy general amnesty [announced] by the Islamic Emirate and Turkey should help in their return."[7]

Although the Islamic Emirate did announce amnesty for everyone after seizing power, the Taliban forces have routinely killed their critics and numerous Afghan military officers. According to the report, Ambassador Erginay assured Haqqani that "Turkey will never allow any [opposition] movement to operate from its soil against the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan."[8]

Sirajuddin Haqqani, according to a report by the Islamic Emirate, "also asked the Turkish ambassador to allocate quotas and special scholarships for the education of Afghan orphans in Maaref Afghan schools. The Turkish ambassador promised to cooperate in this matter."[9] Maaref network of schools in Afghanistan are funded by Turkey.


[1], January 20, 2022.

[2] FBI.Gov (U.S.), accessed January 28, 2022.

[3] FBI.Gov (U.S.), accessed January 28, 2022.

[4] BakhtarNews.Af (Afghanistan), January 19, 2022.

[5], January 20, 2022.

[6] BakhtarNews.Af (Afghanistan), January 19, 2022.

[7] BakhtarNews.Af (Afghanistan), January 19, 2022.

[8] TKG.Af (Afghanistan), January 20, 2022.

[9] (Afghanistan) January 19, 2022.

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