An interview with Mullah Sangeen


Image of Haqqani Network military commander Mullah Sangeen Zadran. Obtained by The Long War Journal from a Taliban propaganda tape.

Matt Dupee passed along this As Sahab interview with a ‘Mawlawi Sangeen,’ who is identified as the “Director of Military Affairs of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan for Paktika province.” Although he is not identified as such, this most certainly is Haqqani Network military commander Mullah Sangeen Zadran, who is known to be the military commander of Paktika. The interview is supposedly conducted as Sangeen visited “one of the camps of the Emirate in the area.”

At one point during the interview, Sangeen discusses relations between the Taliban and al Qaeda, and divisions within the Taliban. Sangeen’s response should come as no surprise to readers of this site, but it is interesting none the less. The fact that he is conducting the interview with As Sahab, al Qaeda’s propaganda arm, should tell you everything you need to know.

As-Sahab: How is your relation with your brothers in Al-Qaeda and what is the level of cooperation between you?

Mawlawi Sangeen: All praise is for Allah, Al-Qaeda and Taliban all are Muslims and we are united by the brotherhood of Islam. We do not see any difference between Taliban and Al- Qaeda, for we all belong to the religion of Islam. Sheikh Usama has pledged allegiance to Amir Al-Mumineen (Mulla Muhammad Umar) and has reassured his leadership again and again. There is no difference between us, for we are united by Islam and the Sharia governs us. Just as the infidels are one people, so are the Muslims, and they will never succeed in disuniting the Mujahideen, saying that there is Al- Qaeda and Taliban, and that Al-Qaeda are terrorists and extremists. They use many such words, but by the Grace of Allah, it will not affect our brotherly relationship. Now they are also trying to disunite the Taliban, saying that there are two wings, one extremist and another moderate. However, the truth is that we are all one and are united by Islam.

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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  • Tyler says:

    Wow. Even by propaganda standards this guy is seriously overcompensating.

  • Render says:

    1: To Western ears and eyes that’s propaganda. To Sageen’s allies, cohorts, and minions that is a fairly standard boilerplate declaration of allegiance and loyalty.
    2: Sangeen seems to have the same trouble understanding the West as many westerners seem to have understanding the Ummah. The “infidels” (that’s us) are hardly “one people” except perhaps as potential targets. (I’m not making any claim to understand the Ummah either)
    3: I rest my case. We’re not going to seperate the Talib from al-Q, at least not at the leadership levels and not without a major reformation of Islam itself. We’re not talking about WW2 Germany and Italy here, we’re talking about WW2 Wermacht and Waffen SS.

  • Tyler says:

    I think that misses the point Render. The fact that this guy Sangeen is having to spend time, at great length, exhorting the ‘unity’ between Al Qaeda, the various Taliban factions, and the various jihadists suggests that trouble is in fact a-brewin’. Coupled with Bill’s reportage on a high-level meeting arranged by the Haqqanis since Mehsud’s death, one could argue that the Taliban leadership is in serious damage control mode. I doubt the Taliban would get Haqqani, the Mehsuds, Nazir, and others all in one spot for a simple pep rally.
    Baitullah Mehsud was known to be very supportive and protective of the Uzbeks in the IMU and Islamic Jihad Union. Mehsud is dead, and now we’re hearing that Jalolov’s luck has run out along with some other Uzbek foreign fighters. Things to consider.


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