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.