The Taliban has released a statement attributed to its leader, Hibatullah Akhundzada.
A Taliban video eulogy for Jalaluddin Haqqani includes praise from three jihadists based in the UK and Syria: Hani al-Sibai, Dr. Abdullah al-Muhaysini and Sheikh Muslih al-Ulyani. Sibai is a well-known, pro-al Qaeda ideologue living in the UK. Muhaysini is a US-designated terrorist. Both Muhaysini and Ulyani operate in Syria.
The Taliban has released a new statement attributed to its emir, Hibatullah Akhundzada, who says there will only be “peace” when America leaves Afghanistan. Akhundzada blasts the current Afghan government as a “corrupt regime” and portrays the Taliban’s Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan as the only legitimate authority.
Since late April, Shabaab has released a series of videos emphasizing its place in al Qaeda’s global network. Two of the videos were recorded by the group’s emir, Abu Ubaydah Ahmad Umar, a normally reclusive figure. Abu Ubaydah refers to the Taliban’s emir as the “Commander of the Faithful” and Ayman al Zawahiri as the “father-emir” while addressing the mujahideen in Syria and Yemen.
The Taliban released a statement attributed to its emir, Hibatullah Akhundzada, who says that “peace” is only possible if the “occupation” is ended. The statement is entirely self-serving and contains absurd claims. For example, Akhundzada writes that the Taliban wants a “free, independent and progressive Afghanistan,” which is completely inconsistent with the group’s ideology and history.
A new video from the Taliban features several images and clips of al Qaeda leaders, further demonstrating that the two remain firmly allied more than 15 years after the 9/11 hijackings.