Earlier today, the Taliban released a statement from its newly appointed emir, Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour, in which he accepted bayat (an oath of allegiance) from Ayman al Zawahiri and al Qaeda. The Long War Journal report on Mansour’s statement can be read here. The full text of the statement is reproduced in full below, as it is of extreme importance in understanding the relationship between the two groups.
Message: New Amir of Islamic Emirate thanks and accepts all who pledged allegiance
بسم الله الرحمن الرحمن الرحیم
!الحمدلله رب العالمين ، والعاقبة للمتقين ، والصلاة والسلام علي خير خلقه محمد وعلى آله وصحبه اجمعين وبعد
:یقول الله عزوجل
وَنُرِيدُ أَن نَّمُنَّ عَلَى الَّذِينَ اسْتُضْعِفُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ وَنَجْعَلَهُمْ أَئِمَّةً وَنَجْعَلَهُمُ الْوَارِثِينَ (5) القصص
I feel a great sense of pride to be addressing you at a time when the infidel coalition under the leadership of America has been defeated in Mujahid Afghanistan and its subdued forces are leaving Afghanistan disgraced and humiliated.
لِلَّهِ الْأَمْرُ مِن قَبْلُ وَمِن بَعْدُ ۚ وَيَوْمَئِذٍ يَفْرَحُ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ(4) الروم
We unequivocally believe that this great victory is firstly from Allah and then due the countless sacrifices of the Muslim Afghan nation and the complete spiritual and material support of the entire Islamic Ummah.
Our fourteen year sacred Jihad in the face of foreign invaders which has reached its final stages of success, all praise is due to Allah, has been waged under the leadership of the late Amir ul Mumineen, Mullah Muhammad Umar Mujahid (may Allah have mercy on him) and this glory shall forever be written in his name in the annals of Muslim history.
Now that he (RA) has passed away as was decreed by Allah Almighty and the heavy burden of leadership is placed upon my shoulders by scholars, Jihadi commanders, Mujahideen and the entire Mujahid nation then I pray to Allah Almighty to assist me in properly discharging this burdensome duty.
Availing this occasion I want to wholeheartedly thank all those respected brothers who have sympathized with us in this critical juncture of the Islamic Ummah, have sent messages of condolence about the passing away of Amir ul Mumineen or have pledged allegiance with us as the new Amir (leader) of the Islamic Emirate and servant of the Muslims.
Among these respected brothers, I first and foremost accept the pledge of allegiance of the esteemed Dr. Ayman ad-Dhawahiri, the leader of international Jihadi organization (Qaedatul Jihad) and thank him for sending a message of condolence along with his pledge and pledge of all Mujahideen under him. Similarly those Mujahideen protecting the Jihadi frontlines, Madaris (religious seminaries), teachers of universities and centers for learning, national figures and all Islamic and Jihadi personalities as well as Jihadi organizations spread throughout the globe who have sent messages of condolence or pledge allegiance with us as leader of Jihad, I reciprocally thank them and implore Allah Almighty to grant me and all our brothers success to properly serve Islam and Muslims.
Hopeful of your prayers
Amir ul Mumineen Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansur
29/10/1436 Hijri Lunar
23/05/1394 Hijri Solar 14/08/2015 Gregorian