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.
The Taliban has released an “open letter” to President Trump urging him to “adopt the strategy of a complete withdrawal from Afghanistan instead of a troops increase.” The propaganda letter contains several erroneous or misleading claims. It is also disingenuous with respect to the jihadist threat emanating out of Afghanistan.
Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) has released a 20-page code of conduct outlining its approach to waging jihad throughout the region. The group says its men are currently fighting “shoulder-to-shoulder” with the Taliban and calls on Muslims in the surrounding countries to pledge allegiance to the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (another name for the Taliban).
Al Qaeda’s general command has released a statement commenting on the “martyrdom” of Faruq al Qahtani and others. They were killed in an American airstrike on Oct. 23 in Afghanistan. Osama bin Laden’s files show that Qahtani was tasked with establishing new safe havens for al Qaeda in Afghanistan in 2010, if not earlier.
Both the Taliban and Junood al Fida, a jihadist group loyal to the Taliban and al Qaeda, have claimed that the Registan district in the southern Kandahar province has fallen to the jihadists. Afghan officials quickly denied the claim as “exaggerated.”