June 8, 2020 Special Dispatch No. 8785

Mullah Abdullah Baradar Akhund, Afghan Taliban's Negotiator With U.S., Addresses Suicide Bombers At Passing-Out Parade In Afghanistan

June 8, 2020
Special Dispatch No. 8785

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

On June 1, 2020, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (the Afghan Taliban organization), which signed a peace agreement with the U.S. in Doha on February 29, 2020, released a video showing Taliban leaders addressing squads of suicide bombers at a passing-out parade at the Al-Fateh Military Camp located somewhere in Afghanistan. Titled "Victorious Force (1)," the video was produced by Al-Hijra Studio, which is part of the Multimedia Department of the Islamic Emirate's Commission for Cultural Affairs. The Parts Two and Three of the video series will be released later.

The video gives audio statements issued "in honor of various martyrdom groups," i.e., suicide bombers, by Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar Akhund, the Doha-based chief of the Islamic Emirate's Political Office who negotiated the peace agreement with the U.S.; Sirajuddin Haqqani, the deputy emir of the Islamic Emirate and head of the Haqqani Network; Maulvi Mohammad Yaqub, the head of the Islamic Emirate's Military Affairs Commission; and Zabihullah Mujahid, the Islamic Emirate's spokesman.

Focusing on preparing for war, the video begins with Quran 8:60, whose English translation is given as: "And prepare against them whatever you are capable of power and of steeds of war by which you may terrify the enemy of Allah and your enemy." A commentator says: "The great attention was paid to training by most of the Companions of the Prophet [Muhammad] and their followers and hence the arrogant forces of the time were frightened by the most primitive means [used by Islamic forces]."

Part of the video shows a digitized representation of swordsmen, archers, horsemen, climbers, divers, and others on a romanticized battlefield. A jihadi on horseback rides across a map of the world, particularly the region from the Middle East to South Asia. The video then shows footage of Taliban fighters undergoing training in different circumstances, as well as Taliban commanders with their faces covered on a stage reviewing the passing-out parade.

A four-member delegation from the Islamic Emirate's Military Commission is given a guard of honor. According to an announcement by a masked man, the delegation inspected squads of martyrdom-seeking bombers. The passing-out ceremony starts with a recitation from the Quran.

Then an audio speech of Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar Akhund, the deputy emir of the Islamic Emirate and head of the Doha-based Political Office, is played. Mullah Baradar Akhund, who led the Taliban delegation in talks with the United States, says: "The military power of the Islamic Emirate's military force will be a great defender of the future Islamic system. It will be defending its Islamic faith and its soil as it is doing now."

This is followed by an audio speech of Sirajuddin Haqqani, the head of the Islamic Emirate's Haqqani Network, who tells the suicide bombers: "All praise be to Allah! When I look at the military strength of the mujahideen of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, I am amazed."

Sirajuddin Haqqani, who earlier this year wrote an op-ed in The New York Times, says: "Every mujahid is a hero; every mujahid is a good military commander; [their] fighting skills and tactics are excellent. Praise be to Allah! The military formations of the Islamic Emirate are very organized; they have all kinds of units. Praise be to Allah! The Islamic Emirate's special commando units respond very quickly and precisely to enemy moves and remain on standby position round the clock for repelling any threat and danger."

He adds: "Praise be to Allah! The Islamic Emirate pays special attention to the jihad and military training of the mujahideen and also pays attention to the military equipment industry, and does not waste any opportunity."

Sirajuddin Haqqani's statement regarding the intra-Afghan talks mentioned in the U.S.-Taliban peace agreement is significant. He says: "We want to resolve issues through negotiation. The Prophetic shari'a politics is also a way of our jihad and struggle, but politics and negotiations should not be taken to mean that we will neglect jihadi affairs and the strengthening and development of our jihadi military force."

This means that the Taliban, while negotiating with Afghan delegates, will continue to fight against the Afghan security forces. Sirajuddin Haqqani says: "We congratulate all the mujahideen and martyrdom-seekers who have graduated from training and are participating in this pass-out parade. May Allah accept their efforts, and may Allah make them the greatest heroes of Islam."

After Sirajuddin Haqqani's statement, a speech of Maulvi Mohammad Yaqub, the head of the Military Affairs Commission, is played. Maulvi Yaqub tells the suicide bombers: "Praise be to Allah! With each passing day, the mujahideen armies become more organized and strengthened. They are self-reliant in every way, successfully performing jihadi duties with fewer resources. We will do our best with the help of Allah almighty to make the military jihadi force of the Islamic Emirate stronger and more organized to the extent that the enemies will be intimidated just from its name, and never be tempted to encroach on our sacred land."

The Taliban's military head adds: "I urge our mujahideen brothers to make it a habit to be pious, honest, correct in their intentions, and take care of their deeds. Make their unity, obedience, and power stronger and more organized. Hopes of our millions of martyrs are attached with your proper training, power and good organization. You are at the forefront of defending the religion and the country, so you must prepare and train for the heavy responsibilities ahead."

Maulvi Mohammad Yaqub tells the martyrdom-seekers: "You are the pride of our Muslim nation, be ready for any sacrifice in defence of your faith and land. Be loving of your people and always be loyal to your sacred beliefs, soil and your proud nation. Congratulations all the martyrdom-seeking youth who have successfully graduated from our military camp and are participating in this procession [i.e., graduation ceremony]."

Following are screenshots from the video:

Source: (Afghanistan), June 1, 2020.

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