Taliban announce this year’s spring offensive

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, as the Afghan Taliban call themselves, announced yesterday that this year’s spring offensive would, like last year’s, target “the invaders and their spineless backers.” Like previous spring offensives, the Taliban said they would target Coalition military forces and civilians, as well as the Afghan government, military, intelligence services, and tribal militias.

This year’s spring offensive, called Khaibar after the Battle of Khaibar, will begin on May 12, the Taliban said in a statement released on their official propaganda website, Voice of Jihad. The Battle of Khaibar took place in 629 in Saudi Arabia. Muslim forces under the command of Mohammed laid siege to and defeated Jews living in Khaibar.

“By taking this name as a good omen for the current year, we ask Allah (SWT) to completely cleanse our country from the filth of the infidels and let their large bases be liberated, Allah willing,” the Taliban stated.

The Taliban said “the main target” of Khaibar “shall be the foreign invaders and their backers under various names like spies, military and civilian contractors and everyone working for them like translators, administrators and logistics personnel.”

“Similarly the blessed ‘Khaibar’ Jihadi spring operations shall target all high ranking government officials, cabinet ministers, members of Parliament, security officials, occupation backing officers in the Interior and Foreign Ministries, attorneys and judges that prosecute Mujahideen as well as agents in the National Directorate [Afghan intelligence] that pursue and torture Mujahideen,” the statement continued.

The Taliban also promised to use “various modern military techniques,” such as “back-breaking martyrdom strikes,” or suicide assaults and bombings; “infiltrator operations,” the insider, green-on-blue or green-on-green attacks, in which Taliban fighters infiltrate or turn Afghan forces against their countrymen or Coalition forces; rocket and mortar attacks on bases; and “head-on offensive operations against enemy gatherings.”

Military bases, “diplomatic centers,” military and civilian convoys, and other “facilities of foreign, interior, intelligence and Arbaki militia” would be the primary targets of Taliban attacks.

Additionally, the Taliban called on “all the workers of the crumbling Kabul regime” to turn on their government and promised to protect them if they did so.

“The Islamic Emirate assures them of a honorable, safe and a peaceful life if they forgo the enemy ranks and considers your protection our moral duty,” the Taliban stated.

The Taliban have devoted significant efforts to stepping up attempts to kill NATO troops and foreigners by infiltrating the ranks of Afghan security forces. Additionally, the Taliban have offered refuge to government and security officials who defected.

Mullah Omar said as much in a statement released on Aug. 16, 2012, when he claimed that the Taliban “cleverly infiltrated in the ranks of the enemy according to the plan given to them last year [2011],” and urged government officials and security personnel to defect and join the Taliban as a matter of religious duty. He also noted that the Taliban have created the “Call and Guidance, Luring and Integration” department, “with branches … now operational all over the country,” to encourage defections. [See Threat Matrix report, Mullah Omar addresses green-on-blue attacks.]

In the announcement of the Khaibar offensive, the Taliban also reiterated that they would continue to wage “wage armed Jihad” until “the unconditional withdrawal of all invading forces from our Islamic country ” and the establishment of an Islamic state, or a return to Taliban rule.

“The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan has ambitions of continuing the sacred obligation of Jihad with the backing of its Muslim nation until the expulsion of every last infidel invader and establishment of an Islamic government,” the statement concluded.

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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