Taleban Government Appoints Two New Ministers

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The sources said that the convoy of people, bombed by the US planes while it was on its way to Kabul to participate in the transfer of power last month, also included one of Haqqani's brothers.
They said that the bombing was made at the instigation of an influential commander of the eastern council, with the objective of foiling the link between the two leaders--[Haqqani and Karzai].

[Description of Source: Rawalpindi Nawa-i-Waqt in Urdu -- Pakistan's second largest circulation's daily, widely respected]

Afghan tribal elders join US to target suspected al-Qa'ida center

IAP20020107000002 Peshawar Afghan Islamic Press in Pashto 0654 GMT 07 Jan 02
Peshawar, 7 January: There are American ground forces in the Zawar [Kili, believed to be an Al-Qa'idah compound] area in [the area of] Khost [Paktia Province south of Kabul, bordering Pakistan], and aircraft are also bombing the area.

News agencies in Miram Shah [Pakistani border town] told AIP this morning that last night and this morning US aircraft had bombed the Zawar area in [the area of] Khost many times.

According to the news sources, last night and early this morning the Americans arrived in various areas of Zawar in four helicopters and started a mopping-up operation.

US aircraft are bombing various areas. It is known that the location is dangerous for the US forces.

According to well-informed sources, there were some fighters loyal to [Minister of Border Affairs in the Taleban government] Jalaloddin Haqqani in Zawar. Yesterday, after the [US] forces reached the area, they were eradicated from the area.

It should be mentioned that Zawar is an important area to the USA; this area was attacked with cruise missiles in 1998 by the Americans, because they thought there was an Al-Qa'idah centre there.

Paktia and Khost tribal elders are taking part in mopping-up operations with the US troops in Zawar.

The area was bombed many times last week. According to latest reports, the mopping-up operation is continuing.

[Description of Source: Peshawar Afghan Islamic Press in Pashto -- Peshawar-based agency, staffed by Afghans; good contacts with Taliban leadership. Faxes reliable, hand-written news reports, describing itself as independent and self-financing]

Afghan tribal elders to decide fate of boy US suspects of killing soldier

IAP20020107000017 Peshawar Afghan Islamic Press in Pashto 0550 GMT 07 Jan 02
Peshawar: 7 January: The [Pakistani newspaper] Wahdat daily news in Pashto continues the story of a US commando who was killed [on 4 January].

According to Wahdat in Miram Shah [Pakistani border town], after US aircraft had bombed the area of Zawar [Kili, thought to be the site of an Al-Qa'idah compound] in [the area of] Khost [in Paktia Province, bordering Pakistan], US commandos reached the area of Zawar with tribal elders from Gardez [capital Paktia Province] in eight helicopters. The commandos saw the area which had been bombed the night before by the American aircraft. As a result of the bombing, sixteen people were killed and five wounded.

Zawar was the site of the established bases of [Hezb-e Eslami leader Golboddin] Hekmatyar and Jalaloddin Haqqani [later Taleban minister for border affairs] during the jihad [against the Soviets].

It was clear that the US commandos wanted a fourteen-year-old boy who [they said] had killed an American and injured another during the attack by US forces

They [US commandos] warned local people that if the murderer was not handed over, the village would be heavily bombed.

A meeting will be held by the Gardez and (?Zudin) tribal elders and a decision will be taken.

[Description of Source: Peshawar Afghan Islamic Press in Pashto -- Peshawar-based agency, staffed by Afghans; good contacts with Taliban leadership. Faxes reliable, hand-written news reports, describing itself as independent and self-financing]

Afghanistan: Tribal leader confirms US forces arrest four in eastern province

IAP20020121000129 Peshawar Afghan Islamic Press in Pashto 1430 GMT 21 Jan 02
Peshawar, 21 January: One of the major supporters of the American forces in Khost [Province], Zakim Khan, has said that those arrested in the Zini Khel village will be interrogated about [the whereabouts of] Jalaloddin Haqqani.
Confirming reports on the arrest of a number of people in Zini Khel, commander Zakim Khan told the Afghan Islamic Press from Khost this evening that American commandos had arrested Serajoddin and three of his friends in order to obtain information about Jalaloddin Haqqani.
He added that in the past Jalaloddin Haqqani used to visit Serajoddin's house, and last November he [Jalaloddin Haqqani] was wounded as a result of American bombing. Investigation is continuing from those arrested.
He described as unfounded reports alleging that those arrested were also suspected of the killing of an American soldier.
With regard to Haqqani, he said reports indicate that he is still alive. It should be said that some weeks ago the allied forces said that it was possible that Haqqani had been killed as result of American attacks.
Zakim Khan is among the three influential commanders in Khost area, and he is regarded as a supporter of the American forces in the region.
Zakim Khan told the Afghan Islamic Press that in Paktia and Khost [provinces] his supporters outnumber those of the others. He said that at present he is supplies 12 to 13 districts of Paktia. He added that he also has more supporters in Khost than anyone else. But he added that so far there is no single administration in Khost.
It should be said that in Khost Prof Borhanoddin Rabbani's supporter, Zakim Khan, the former king's supporter, Badshah Khan Zadran, and another independent group, led by Engineer Delbarjan Armani, are claiming to be the majority in the province. This is the reason so far no single administration exists in the province.

[Description of Source: Peshawar Afghan Islamic Press in Pashto -- Peshawar-based agency, staffed by Afghans; good contacts with Taliban leadership. Faxes reliable, hand-written news reports, describing itself as independent and self-financing]

AIP: US Missile Attack 5 Feb Killed Three Afghan Civilians; Not Al-Qa'ida Members

IAP20020207000019 Peshawar Afghan Islamic Press in Pashto 1011 GMT 07 Feb 02
Peshawar, 7 February: Three civilians have been martyred [killed] as a result of an American missile attack on Zhawar Kalai.

Reports say that a missile hit Zhawar Kalai, Khost Province, at around 1400 or 1500 hours [local time] on 5 February 2002 as a result of which two young people were killed on the spot and a third died on the way to hospital.

The Zhawar Kalai, which is situated 35 km southwest of Khost and 15 km from the Pakistani border, is a few kilometres from the centre of Zhawar which was the target of heavy attack by American aircraft in January.

The centre of Zhawar, which was a base of mojahedin commander Mowlawi Jalaloddin Haqqani, is described by Americans as an Al-Qa'idah base.

Speaking to Afghan Islamic Press on the latest incident, elders of Gorboz tribe today identified the dead men as Mir Ahmad, Jahangir Khan and Daraz Khan. They said the men aged between 20 and 30 were just wandering in the area.

One elder said: "There are no Al-Qa'idah people in the area."

The three martyrs were buried in Patlun Kalai near the Khost bazaar.

American military sources had earlier said that a missile was fired and its was believed to be Al-Qa'idah leaders. However, eyewitness told the Afghan Islamic Press that they [those killed] were local people and not Al-Qa'idah members.

[Description of Source: Peshawar Afghan Islamic Press in Pashto -- Peshawar-based agency, staffed by Afghans; had good contacts with Taliban leadership. Faxes reliable, hand-written news reports, describing itself as independent and self-financing]

UK Guardian: Al-Qa'ida Fighters Escaping to Gulf Through Iran Drug Route

EUP20020213000144 London The Guardian (Internet Version-WWW) in English 13 Feb 02
[Article by Rory McCarthy: "Al-Qa'ida Fighters Escaping to Gulf Through Iran Drug Route"]
Fighters loyal to the Taliban and al-Qa'ida have evaded US military operations in Afghanistan by crossing the border into Pakistan and escaping to freedom along the established drug smuggling route to Iran, a Guardian investigation reveals today.
Detailed accounts from witnesses, al-Qa'ida sympathisers and sources close to the Taliban in Pakistan indicate that many Arab fighters loyal to Usama Bin Ladin crossed into the country through desolate mountain passes, avoiding well-armed military border patrols.
Once in Pakistan's tribal regions they found support from an underground network of Islamic extremists. Some are still hiding in Pakistan, while others have already fled the country after spending thousands of dollars to buy their escape through Iran using the tribal drug trafficking mafia.
The confirmation that well-trained al-Qa'ida figures have fled through Iran and are back in their homes in Gulf countries will ring alarm bells in Washington. The FBI yesterday released details of a man called Fawaz Yahya al-Rabeei who it said had entered Yemen from Afghanistan and was poised to carry out an imminent terrorist attack against US targets.
The Iranian connection will also worsen already strained relations between Tehran and the Bush administration. Senior US figures have accused Iran of allowing al-Qa'ida fighters into the country.
A hardline cleric interviewed by the Guardian admitted helping dozens of Arab men, women and children who crossed into Pakistan near Parachinar from the al-Qa'ida base at Tora Bora. Maulana Javed Ibrahim Paracha said the Arabs were "quietly going back to their homes".
Hamid Mir, a Pakistani newspaper editor known to be close to the Taliban regime, said many Arab fighters were escaping from southern Afghanistan and from Pakistan's tribal belt through Iran and back to their countries.
"The Arab al-Qa'ida are trying their best to leave the country and to reach the Gulf," he said. "The smuggling mafia have started a new business helping these people to leave."
Several senior officials from the collapsed Taliban regime have also fled to Pakistan. A group of at least six Taliban deputy ministers and diplomats have formed a political party and say they hope to join the government in Kabul later this year.
However, Islamabad's military regime insists there are no Taliban officials in Pakistan.
Abdul Hakim Mujahid, the Taliban's representative in New York, told the Guardian it was easy for Taliban figures to leave Afghanistan secretly. "All the borders are possible to cross," he said.
Many other more hardline Taliban officials are still living in Afghanistan, often under the protection of their local tribes, he said.
Taliban fighters are believed to have gathered around Khost, in eastern Afghanistan. They include Jalaluddin Haqqani, the Taliban frontiers minister, who was once considered by Pakistan as a possible leader of a "moderate Taliban" faction but turned down the offer. He is now regarded by the Americans as a leading hardliner.

[Description of Source: London The Guardian (Internet Version-WWW) in English -- prominent center-left daily]

Arab Afghans Sources Claim 'Dozens' of Al-Qa'ida Members Escaped Through Iran

GMP20020215000074 London Al-Sharq al-Awsat in Arabic 14 Feb 02 p4
[Unattributed report: "Arab Afghans Sources: Dozens of Al-Qa'ida Members Have Arrived in Arab Countries Through Iran"]
London, Tehran, Al-Sharq al-Awsat, news agencies-Arab Afghans sources have revealed that dozens of Usama Bin Ladin's Al-Qa'ida Organization members have succeeded in leaving Afghanistan and reaching Arab countries through Iran.
The sources said in a telephone contact with Al-Sharq al-Awsat that dozens of Arab fundamentalist members of Al-Qa'ida moved under the protection of the drugs mafias that operate in the tribes-controlled border strip between Afghanistan and Pakistan. They added that these members crossed Helmand province into Iran and from there across the Gulf to their home countries by using forged passports.
The sources noted that one Arab fighter paid around 3 million Pakistani rupees (about $33,000) in return for traveling to Bandar Abbas under the tribes' protection and securing a forged passport that allowed him to travel through the Gulf ports. They added that the drugs mafias operating in the border strip between Khowst--which is controlled by Jalaloddin Haqqani, the borders minister in the Taliban regime-and the Pakistani city of Queta and into Bandar Abbas Port deep inside Iran's territories that overlooks the Arab Gulf have switched to the profitable business of smuggling Al-Qa'ida's members. These mafias' leaders have reaped vast profits from this trade estimated in hundreds of thousands of dollars. The Arab Afghans sources said that six deputy ministers in the former Taliban government are now inside Pakistan's territories. Rahmatollah Hashemi, Mullah Omar's adviser for foreign affairs, is one of them.
The sources went on to point out: The Pakistani authorities deny there are Taliban elements in their territories, apart from Alrahman Zahid, Taliban's deputy foreign minister, and Nour Mohammad Shakib, the president of the Supreme Court in Kabul. The Pakistani authorities detained both of them in Baluchistan province last month. But a group of Taliban ministers entered Pakistan and formed a party representing the moderate Pashtun elements. This group hopes to join the interim government in Afghanistan by the middle of this year and it includes Suhayl Shahin, the deputy of Abdol Salam Zaeef, the former Taliban ambassador in Islamabad. [Passage omitted citing agency and newspaper reports]
[Description of Source: London Al-Sharq al-Awsat in Arabic -- Influential Saudi-owned London daily providing independent coverage of Arab and international issues; editorials reflect official Saudi views on foreign policy.]

AFP: Former Taliban Commander Surrenders in Eastern Afghanistan

SAP20020311000034 Hong Kong AFP in English 0833 GMT 11 Mar 02
ISLAMABAD, March 11 (AFP) -- A former Taliban commander and brother of the ousted regime's border affairs minister who is wanted by the United States has surrendered to the Afghan authorities, a report said Monday.
Commander Mohammad Ibrahim, 47, accompanied by some 150 religious scholars and tribal elders from Khost, Paktia and Paktika provinces turned himself over to the authorities in the eastern city of Gardez on Sunday, the Afghan Islamic Press (AIP) said.
But the Pakistan-based news agency said Ibrahim, whose elder brother Maulawi Jalaluddin Haqqani commanded considerable influence as one of the top resistance fighters during the 1979-89 Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, was still in Gardez and was "moving freely."
US-led forces are battling al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters in the mountains south of Gardez, capital of Paktia province.
Ibrahim was associated with the 1992-96 regime of former president Burhanuddin Rabbani and later served as Taliban commander in several eastern provinces.
Haqqani, a religious scholar who served as minister for border affairs, is on the US list of wanted Taliban leaders.
The Taliban regime was routed after the US and allied Afghan forces launched a military campaign over the Islamic militia's harbouring of Oasma bin Laden, suspected mastermind of the devastating terror attacks in the United States six months ago.
But the militia's chief Mullah Mohammad Omar, his "guest" bin Laden and other senior Taliban officials have eluded arrest.

[Description of Source: Description of Source: Hong Kong AFP in English -- Hong Kong service of the independent French press agency Agence France-Presse]

Urdu daily: Report says Saifullah Mansoor alive, has moved to another location
SAP20020317000064 Islamabad Ausaf in Urdu 15 Mar 02 pp 1 5
[Report by special correspondent: "Saifullah Mansoor had 300 graves dug before fighting"]
Miran Shah - According to reports coming from Gardez, fighting between US forces and the Taliban in different areas of Piktia has ended and Commander Saifullah Mansoor has moved to another location along with his men.
Sources from Piktia have denied reports that Saifullah Mansoor has been martyred. Sources said that before the fighting started, Saifullah Mansoor had 300 graves dug in the areas of Zarmast Shahi Kot [name as published] and the surrounding areas and requested the people of the area that if he and his men were martyred, they should be buried before the arrival of US forces.
According to sources, Saifullah Mansoor had the bodies of more than 100 men buried in those graves and had the rest of the graves refilled with dirt before leaving the area. US soldiers are looking for the dead bodies of Taliban and al-Qa'ida martyrs in the area, but they have found nothing except 25 dead bodies.
Sources say that Jalaluddin Haqqani is safe in Khost; however one of his brothers has announced his support for Hamid Karzai. It has been learned that the Taliban and al-Qa'ida would launch fresh attacks in April after contacting their men in other provinces of Afghanistan. On the other hand, Pakistani authorities have tightened security arrangements on the border, making illegal entry from Afghanistan to Pakistan more difficult. The Associated Press has said with reference to the Afghan commanders that Saifullah Mansoor has succeeded in escaping along with his men. Twenty persons have been arrested and 500 Canadian soldiers are searching for al-Qa'ida men in the area.
[Description of Source: Islamabad Ausaf in Urdu -- Newspaper with strong anti-India views. Gives wide coverage to fundamentalist religious groups]

Anti-US Afghan Commanders in Paktia, Paktika Enjoy Former President's Support

SAP20020325000048 Islamabad Ausaf in Urdu 25 Mar 02 pp 1 6
[Report by Bakhtzada Yusafzai: "Burhanuddin Rabbani Extends Support to Alliance of Afghan Commander

Jalaluddin Haqqani, Commander Mansoor, Commander Saifullah, and Arsala Rahmani Waging Guerrilla War

Against US in Paktia and Paktika"]
Peshawar -- It has been learned that an alliance of Afghan Commander Jalaluddin Haqqani, Commander Mansoor, Commander Saifullah, Commander Hakeem Mujahid, and Commander Arsala Rehmani, which is waging a guerrilla war against US forces in the Afghan border provinces of Paktia and Paktika, also enjoys the support of Prof Burhanuddin Rabbani, former president of Afghanistan and head of Jamiat-i-Islami Afghanistan. Usama Bin Ladin's adviser and associate, Iman Al-Zawahiri, was also present there until two days before the US attack on Shahi Kot. The Taliban and former jihadi commanders can fight against the secular system in their respective areas till the last moment.
According to details, a war which has been going on in Afghanistan's border provinces of Paktia and Paktika for the last few weeks has acquired a new form. According to sources, the Taliban commanders present in Paktia and Paktika, who have been waging a guerrilla war in these provinces since the Afghan jihad era, have formed an alliance against the United States. In addition to this, Taliban Commander Saifullah also enjoys the backing of Former Afghan President Prof Burhanuddin Rabbani.
According to the sources, Former Afghan President Prof Burhanuddin Rabbani strongly opposes the return of Former King Zahir Shah to Afghanistan and does not want the government of Zahir Shah's people to strengthen its position in Afghanistan. For this purpose, he sympathizes with Commander Saifullah and has promised to provide all kinds of assistance to him.
According to the sources, these prominent commanders of the former Taliban government who have formed an alliance to fight the US forces not only have a conservative approach, but they are also not ready to tolerate effects of secularism in areas under their control. According to the sources, there are about 700 US special forces present in these areas, whereas 1,100 Northern Alliance soldiers and forces of pro-Zahir Shah and pro-Hamid Karzai Bacha Khan Zardaran are also fighting the Taliban and al-Qa'ida. In spite of that, the situation is in favor of anti-US and anti-Karzai forces.
According to the sources, Jalaluddin Haqqani's brother Haji Ibrahim is an influential and powerful commander. According to the sources, the alliance of commanders of Paktia and Paktika was known as the Paktika force during the jihad against the Soviet Union and it had all the suppport of mujahideen in these provinces. According to the sources, Commander Jalaluddin Haqqani, the most important commander in the alliance, was the third biggest leader in the Taliban government. He was also in charge of the Taliban government's financial affairs and is very influential and powerful in his area.

[Description of Source: Islamabad Ausaf in Urdu -- Newspaper with strong anti-India views. Gives wide coverage to fundamentalist religious groups]

Pakistan: US Begins Operation in Pakistan Against al-Qa'ida Members
SAP20020427000126 Islamabad Pakistan in Urdu 27 Apr 02 pp 17
[Report by Haji Mujtaba: "US Starts Operation on Pak Soil to Unearth al-Qa'ida Activists"]
US forces have launched an operation against al-Qa'ida members in Miranshah area of North Waziristan. According to details, 10 US troops suddenly landed in the area in two helicopters. Among them was also the US commander who had imparted training to mujahideen commander Jalaluddin Haqqani against Soviet forces. The US troops were accompanied by 200 jawans [lowest rank soldiers] of Militia and Tochi Scouts [paramilitary troops] led by Major Mudassar; Assistant Political Agent [deputy administrator of a tribal area] Javed Marwat; Tehsildar [revenue officer at sub-district level] Haji Muhammad Salim; Moharrars [police official responsible for registering cases] Khawaza Jan; Amanullah; and a large number of Khasadars [paramilitary troops]. They suddenly raided the former madrassa [religious school] Majmatul Uloom of Jalaluddin Haqqani in village Danday Darpakhel. The madrassa was empty and no al-Qa'ida member was found there, during the hour-long operation. It may be added that it was the first US forces operation in the tribal area and more such crackdowns are expected.

[Description of Source: Islamabad Pakistan in Urdu -- Widely read daily generally supportive of the Pakistan Muslim League]

US, Pakistani troops raid seminary in tribal area bordering Afghanistan
SAP20020427000084 Islamabad The Nation (Lahore Edition) (Internet Version-WWW) in English 27 Apr 02
[Report by correspondent: "US, Pak troops raid madrassa in Waziristan"]
Miran Shah -- The American forces along with Pak army personnel Friday started operation against alleged al-Qaeda members in North Waziristan Agency when they raided a Madrassa of deputy commander-in-chief of former Taliban government of Afghanistan in the area. Two US helicopters, carrying about ten US troops, landed at Dandi Darpa Khel area and began search of Majmal Uloom of Jalaluddin Haqqani to find alleged members of al-Qaeda. However, the madrassa was already vacated when the joint US-Pak team raided it. The American troops were reportedly led by a commander who had once given military training to Jalaluddin Haqqani against Russian forces.
The US troops were accompanied by about 200 Tochi Scouts [paramilitary force] personnel headed by Major Mudassir. Assistant Political Agent of the Agency Javaid Marwat, Tehsiladar Political Muharar, Haji Mohammad Saleem, Muharar Khawaja Khan, Muharar Amanullah and a large number of Khasadar [paramilitary force] also escorted them. The searching operation continued for about one hour.

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