Zabihullah Mujahid, an official spokesman for the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, the official name of the Afghan Taliban, responded to the US’ addition of three senior Haqqani Network leaders to its Specially Designated Global Terrorist list. Yesterday, the US Treasury Department added Saidullah Jan, a senior commander and financier; Yahya Haqqani, a senior leader involved with “military, financial, and propaganda activities”; and Muhammad Omar Zadran, a military commander, to the terrorism list.
This morning, Mujahid emailed The Long War Journal the Taliban’s official response to the designations. Mujahid’s rebuttal is published in full, below.
One of Mujahid’s main arguments, that the sanctions are ineffective as the Haqqani leaders do not “have trade relationships with America nor any accounts in their interest plagued banks which could be effected by these superficial seizures,” may be technically true. And keep in mind that the designations didn’t prevent other Haqqani Network leaders (Khalil Haqqani and Fazl Rabi), who are also listed, from traveling to Saudi Arabia to fundraise.
But from the standpoint of The Long War Journal, the designations are at the very least a useful tool in helping the public to understand the nature of the networks. Additionally, the Taliban’s response is interesting. Note that there is no denial that Saidullah and Yahya collude with al Qaeda.
Mujahid’s statement, titled “The blacklisting of our Mujahideen signifies American military failure,” follows:
The American invaders announced on Wednesday the blacklisting of three Mujahideen of Islamic Emirate namely Yahya (Haqqani), Maulawi Sayedullah and Muhammad Omar (Zadran).
We condemn this ineffective and theatrical blacklisting by America on top of which we also believe it to be an illustration of the abject failure and defeat of America as it is absolutely obvious that no Mujahideen of Islamic Emirate either have trade relationships with America nor any accounts in their interest plagued banks which could be effected by these superficial seizures.
The reality is that America has lost militarily in Afghanistan and now wants to atone this military defeat with petty propaganda war.
The defeated Americans must realize that the Mujahideen of Islamic Emirate take pride in having their names included in such blacklists while those Mujahideen who were blacklisted by America a few years ago have been at the forefront of fighting the invaders and have dealt them a heavy blow militarily.
We can confidently say that such blacklistings do not affect the Jihadi moral and activities of our Mujahideen in the slightest but works paradoxically by strengthening their Jihadi resolves.
To end we must state that all three of the named Mujahideen are from Khost and Paktika provinces of Afghanistan and reports which allege that some are Pakistani nationals are completely baseless.