Taliban continues to deny involvement in deadly Kabul attack

The Taliban continues to deny any and all involvement in the May 31 suicide truck bombing that killed more than 150 Afghans, primarily civilians, and wounded hundreds more. The Taliban has issued multiple statements disassociating itself with the attack, which has yet to be claimed by any group.

The Afghan jihadist group has now issued four separate statements on the Kabul blast, which took place on a street in the diplomatic quarter of the capital. Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security has accused the Haqqani network, a faction of the Taliban led by Taliban deputy emir and military commander Sirajuddin Haqqani.

Two of the denials were released immediately after the attack. Then, on June 11, the Taliban issued an audiotape by Sirajuddin, who again denied involvement in the Kabul attack. Yesterday, the Taliban released another statement, entitled “The Kabul Attack has nothing to do with Mujahideen,” on its official website, Voice of Jihad.

The official statement released on Voice of Jihad is interesting, not because of the denial, but because the Taliban is now claiming it has no interest in attacking embassies. From “The Kabul Attack has nothing to do with Mujahideen:”

But, now it is clear to all that the Islamic Emirate focuses only on military targets and the said incident does not comply with the policy of the Islamic Emirate. Moreover, those embassies and organizations are also not the target of the Islamic Emirate which carry out civilian activities.

This could not be further from the truth. The Taliban has claimed credit for numerous suicide assaults on embassies and consulates, including the US embassy in May 2011, a guesthouse run by a US charity in March 2014, and the German consulate in Mazar-i-Sharif in Nov. 2016. There are numerous other examples where the Taliban has claimed credit for attacking civilian targets, such as hotels, restaurants, hospitals, and mosques.

While the Taliban likely is disassociating itself from the Kabul attack because of the bad optics associated with a large number of civilian casualties, there is likely another reason. The Afghan government is threatening to execute 11 Taliban prisoners in the wake of the bombing, and one of those may be Sirajuddin’s brother, Anas Haqqani. Anas was detained in 2014 along with Qari Abdul Rasheed Omari, the Haqqani Network’s military commander for southeastern Afghanistan.

The Taliban mentioned the planned executions in two of its officials statement denouncing the Kabul attack.

Full text of “The Kabul Attack has nothing to do with Mujahideen:”

A huge explosion in Kabul on 31 May last Wednesday which killed about one hundred countrymen and wounded more than 400 was a gruesome incident for the entire Afghan nation and the Islamic Emirate. The Islamic Emirate shares sorrow of its people in this moment of grief. As such, the Islamic Emirate strongly and immediately condemned the incident through its spokesperson and rejected all kind of involvement in it. The Islamic Emirate also clarified to its people and the world that the Mujahideen of the Islamic Emirate has no permission to carry out such huge explosions in any ill-defined place. Similarly, the Islamic Emirate condemns every explosion and attack carried out on civilians and causes harm to civilians while it has no legitimate target. But, despite denial by the Islamic Emirate, the security officials of the Kabul Administration immediately began to level accusations against the Mujahideen of the Islamic Emirate (Mujahideen of the esteemed Haqani) in order to conceal their failures or perhaps to conceal the real objectives and perpetrators behind this incident and thus obtain their intended wicked objectives.

But, now it is clear to all that the Islamic Emirate focuses only on military targets and the said incident does not comply with the policy of the Islamic Emirate. Moreover, those embassies and organizations are also not the target of the Islamic Emirate which carry out civilian activities.

Unfortunately, the official of the Kabul Administration did not stop here but announced to execute 11 of oppressed prisoners who had no link to this incident. It shows that these reckless and imprudent officials want to further complicate the issue of Afghanistan, instead of thinking over the real factors of the current war in Afghanistan and trying to find solution to cessation of the current crises in the country. Contrarily, they intentionally want to flare up the flames of war by resorting to such intelligence ploys in a hope that they would create gap between the Islamic Emirate and the people by leveling such allegation. They also intend to obtain sympathy and support of the countries of the world, so that they will say there is need for foreign troops surge in Afghanistan.

The Islamic Emirate wants to remind the officials in Kabul not to throw dusts in the eyes of the people and the world, nor pave the way for continuation of fighting to ensure prolongation of your rule. The Afghan nation could not be deceived by your intelligence propagandas or ploys anymore. The Islamic Emirate wants to assure the people on its part that the Kabul attack and other similar attacks are not the work of the Mujahideen and strongly condemn them.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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5 Comments

  • Frank Dunn says:

    Last sentence, “The Islamic Emirate wants to assure the people on its part that the Kabul attack and other similar attacks are not the work of the Mujahideen and strongly condemn them” is a non-comic version of an old Monty Python sketch about the Royal Navy. Pythoner in naval officer uniform declares that “There is no cannibalism in the Royal Navy. And if there was, we would deny it.”

    Appears Taliban killers are denying their involvement in slaughtering 150+ innocents because this vicious attack far exceeded their intentions. In private, these heartless buzzards are high fiving each other to celebrate success. “And can you believe that the Kabul traitors published our denials? What fools. Get that truck bomb ready for Friday’s rush hour. And print a denial about it so that we don’t seem so cruel.”

  • Arjuna says:

    Never believe the Taliban! They didn’t even know their head Caveman Omar was dead for years.
    Ghani said they were MilSpec explosives. They came from the Land of the Pure:
    https://timesofislamabad.com/pakistani-intelligence-provided-explosives-to-haqqani-network-for-kabul-bombing-afghan-moi/2017/06/05/
    No wonder they block this site 😉

  • iyer says:

    some of the nuisances of the taliban writing point to pak/isi style.

  • iyer says:

    meant nuance. not nuisance!

    some of the nuance of the taliban writing point to pak/isi style.

  • Mark Adkins says:

    Just wondering how the tanker got past multiple checkpoints into a high security area.

    Apparently it was a sewage tanker. I suppose if there was some real sewage in the tank (plenty of room given just 1,500 kg of explosive, with or without a secret compartment or false cover of sewage), it would be easy to conceal without an x-ray machine and could actually be inspected visually or with trained dogs without being detected. If the driver had real or forged papers indicating that he was authorized to service septic tanks in the target zone, he could have a good chance of getting through security.

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