Taleban Government Appoints Two New Ministers

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The [Pakistan-based] Afghan Islamic Press, which carried the report, said that the attack took place in an area near the city of Khost in eastern Afghanistan, and that the attackers used light weapons and rockets.

[Description of Source: Doha Al-Jazirah Satellite Channel Television in Arabic -- Independent Television station financed by the Qatari Government]

Arrested Brother of Afghan Taliban Minister Reportedly Sent to Guantanamo
IAP20030531000064 Peshawar Shahadat in Pashto 0001 GMT 31 May 03

Kabul, special report: Haji Mohammad Ebrahim, brother of the former famous resistance commander and minister of borders in the Taliban government, has been sent to the prison of Guantanamo from Kabul. Haji Ebrahim was himself a brave commander of the Mojahedin and he was living in Kabul for at last a year. Although Haji Ebrahim had his own house in Kabul he was living in a house given to him by [Afghan Defence Minister] Gen [Mohammad Qasem] Fahim. Haji Ebrahim was living in Kabul as a guest of state on the basis of an agreement. But some time back he was arrested by American soldiers and was taken to the Bagram air base. The sources say that Haji Ebrahim had no personal record or dossier but he was arrested for the purposes of investigation into his brother Jalaloddin Haqqani, and now he has been sent to Guantanamo.

[Description of Source: Peshawar Shahadat in Pashto -- ]
US Forces Search Residence of Taliban Official in Southeastern Afghanistan
IAP20030626000071 Tehran Voice of the Islamic Republic of Iran External Service in Pashto 0030 GMT 26 Jun 03

US forces have searched the residence of a former Taliban official in southeastern Afghanistan. Our correspondent has reported from Khost that US forces searched the residence of Mowlawi Jalaloddin Haqqani in the (?Esmail Khel) area.
Our correspondent says that the US forces destroyed Haqqani's residence in his absence, detained one of his bodyguards and took him with them.
Taliban leader Mullah Omar recently appointed Mowlawi Haqqani as person in charge of anti-American operations in southeastern Afghanistan.
[Description of Source: Voice of the Islamic Republic of Iran External Service]

Taliban Commander To Set Up Bases in South, Afghan Official Says

IAP20030806000118 Mashhad Voice of the Islamic Republic of Iran External Service in Dari 1330 GMT 06 Aug 03

A US military base situated in the southeast of Afghanistan was hit by three rockets this morning [6 August]. A US military spokesman in Afghanistan, Mr Rodney Davis, confirmed this at a news briefing today and added: Unidentified armed people fired three rockets at a US military base in the Orgun area of Paktika Province today, Wednesday. He did not give any details about possible material or human losses in the attack.

Mr Rodney Davis also said that a non-military vehicle had hit explosives which had been planted on road in Paktia Province. He said that the incident had not caused any human casualties.
It is worth mentioning that unidentified armed men have recently changed their military tactics in the east and southeast of Afghanistan and have resorted to remote-controlled bombs.
Meanwhile, the US and Afghan government forces started a joint widescale operation in the south of Afghanistan at 1700 hours [local time, 1230 GMT] yesterday and the operation is still going on.
The operation is under way in Paktia Province, including in Zadran and Mandozai Districts [of Kandahar Province] and [words indistinct] areas.
In an exclusive interview with us, the deputy commander of Paktia Province's Military Corps No 3, Gen Mohammad Esmail Zazai, said that 10 suspicious people had been arrested and sent to Bagram air base during an operation which had been mostly carried out in former bases of Mowlawi Jalaloddin Haqqani [the Taliban minister of border and tribal affairs].
He also reported that a huge number of different weapons had been seized during the operation. He added that unidentified armed men had put up no resistance to the government forces and had fled the battleground.
The deputy commander of Paktia Province's Military Corps No 3 said that Mowlawi Jalaloddin Haqqani along with some his men was planning to set up a number of military bases in the Zadran area. He reiterated that they [Haqqani and his people] were spreading anti-government propaganda and were calling on people to rise up against the government.

[Description of Source: Voice of the Islamic Republic of Iran External Service]

Afghan Agency Reports Taliban Forces Assaulting Drivers in Paktika
IAP20030911000101 Peshawar Afghan Islamic Press in Pashto 1306 GMT 11 Sep 03

On Khost-Gardez motorway, the Taliban [forces] have assaulted several vehicle owners who had musical equipment and broken their tape recorders.

The spokesman of Pacha Khan Zadran in Paktika, Ghami Khan [Mohammad Yar] told the Afghan Islamic Press today that Taliban sealed the Gardai Serai road near the region of Asmani Ghond on Khost-Gardez motorway the night of last Tuesday and Wednesday [9-10 September] and stopped the vehicles.
He said that the Taliban were searching vehicles and snatching tape recorders from them. Ghami Khan added that the Taliban assaulted those drivers who had tape recorders and told them if they found any such musical instruments with them in the future, they would be severely punished. He told AIP that on Wednesday he himself saw these broken tape recorders in that region. The spokesman of Zadran said that these Taliban [forces] were supporters of Mowlawi Jalaloddin Haqqani. During the Afghan jihad against Russia, Mowlawi Jalaloddin Haqqani was a well-known commander of the southern region who later, during the regime of the Taliban, was appointed as a minister for borders and tribal affairs. But now he is the most sought-after rival commander for the US [forces] in the southern region.
[Description of Source: Peshawar Afghan Islamic Press in Pashto -- Peshawar-based agency, staffed by Afghans; used to have good contacts with Taliban leadership; following the fall of the Taliban is seeking a new role for itself as a news agency; describes itself as independent and self-financing]

Coalition Forces Seize 10 Taliban Suspects in Southeast Afghanistan

IAP20040117000026 Peshawar Afghan Islamic Press in Pashto 1000 GMT 17 Jan 04
Peshawar, 17 January: The mopping-up operation that was launched by the coalition forces in the area of Zadran in Paktia Province [southeastern Afghanistan] a few days ago ended last night [16 January].
Well-informed sources told Afghan Islamic Press [AIP] from Zadran area, Paktia Province, today [17 January] the massive mopping-up operation that was launched by the coalition forces and Afghan troops in the area four days ago ended last night.
Ghamay Khan Mohammadyar, a spokesman for Pacha Khan Zadran [dissident commander in southern Afghanistan], told Afghan Islamic Press [AIP]: "The mopping-up operation that was launched to the west of Khost-Gardez main road by the coalition forces has been completed. The Mezi tribe is based in this area and this area is connected with Mowlawi Jalaloddin Haqqani [prominent Taliban commander]. He said: "The coalition forces were forced to launch the operation because the Taliban usually carry out attacks on the Khost-Gardez main road, as they launched attacks a few days ago in this area."
Ghamay Khan Mohammadyar also told AIP: "At least 10 suspects working for the Taliban have also been captured in the operation."
There have been no reports of fighting in the area during the operation.
[Description of Source: Peshawar Afghan Islamic Press in Pashto -- Peshawar-based agency, staffed by Afghans; used to have good contacts with Taliban leadership; following the fall of the Taliban is seeking a new role for itself as a news agency; describes itself as independent and self-financing]
UK-based Islamist Says Al-Qa'ida Dissidents Returned to it To Confront US
GMP20040227000051 London Al-Hayah in Arabic 27 Feb 04 p8
[Report by Muhammad Salah in Cairo: "'Al-Qa'ida' Dissidents Return to it To Confront United States"]
Hani al-Siba'i, director of the London-based "Al-Maqrizi Historic Studies Center", has expressed his fears that the Pakistani authorities would extradite Egyptian Islamist Khalid al-Zawahiri to the Egyptian authorities and pointed out that Islamabad had extradited to Cairo in the past years several Egyptian Islamists who were detained in Pakistani cities.
Speaking by telephone to Al-Hayah in Cairo yesterday, Al-Siba'i said that Al-Zawahiri was arrested last week with four other Egyptians whose names are not known yet during a campaign in the border area with Afghanistan that resulted in the arrest of 25 persons. He denied that Khalid Al-Zawahiri was related to Ayman al-Zawahiri, the "Jihad" group's leader and second man in "Al-Qa'ida" organization, adding that he had received information that US intelligence agents interrogated Al-Zawahiri and confirmed that he was not the son of the "Jihad" group's leader who had only one son, Muhammad, who was killed during the US bombardment that followed the invasion of Afghanistan.
Al-Siba'i said he was expecting a surge in "Al-Qa'ida" organization's activities in the coming stage after the developments in the US war on the Islamic movements caused dissidents from Bin Ladin and Al-Zawahiri to return to action with it again.
He added that many Arab Islamists broke away from "Al-Qa'ida" during the famous "Tora Bora" battle but returned to action under the organization after the "Taliban" Movement regained its strength in Afghanistan and appointed Jalaloddin Haqqani as Mullah Omar's deputy and after "Al-Qa'ida" opened a new front against the Americans in Iraq.
He explained that these dissidents, who included Egyptians, Libyans, and Saudis, opposed Bin Ladin's approval of Al-Zawahiri's plan to regroup all the young men in the "Tora Bora" Mountains after the US invasion of Afghanistan. Those opposing the plan warned that it would destroy the Arab presence in Afghanistan.
Among those who broke away during the "Tora Bora" battle were Abu-Hafs al-Muritani and a group he leads, Abu-al-Layth al-Libi and several members of the "Libyan Islamic Fighting Group", in addition to Egyptians who believed that the 11 September attacks broke a pledge that Al-Zawahiri made to Mullah Omar not to launch attacks on US interests without informing the Taliban leader first in his capacity as the commander of the faithful. They demanded from Bin Ladin and Al-Zawahiri the removal of Sayf-al-Adl as commander of the military operations that caused heavy losses for "Al-Qa'ida" and those allied to the organization. The disappearance of Sayf-al-Adl -- who is said to be detained in Iran -- the opening of a new front against the Americans in Iraq, and the US war on the Islamists in the world apparently helped overcome all the disagreements.

[Description of Source: London Al-Hayah in Arabic -- Influential Saudi-owned London daily providing independent coverage of Arab and international issues; commentaries occasionally critical of US policy]

Fighting Continues in Khost Province Between Afghan, Taliban Forces
IAP20040802000047 Peshawar Afghan Islamic Press in Pashto 0713 GMT 02 Aug 04
Peshawar, 2 August: Bombing and clashes have been going on in the Zhawra area of Khost Province since early this morning.

Informed sources from Khost reported that clashes broke out between Afghan government forces and the Taliban fighters this morning in the Zhawra area, 35 km from southwest of Khost.

A resident of Khost told Afghan Islamic Press [AIP] that US bombers were constantly bombing the battlefield.

The sources said that clashes began when the Taliban launched full-scale attacks on government military checkpoints this morning.

A resident of Khost told AIP that there was no information on the casualties in the clashes but the body of a young man, whose names is Faysal, was brought from the battleground in the Tani area.

Informed sources from the Zhawra area reported that clashes were going on in the Pakistani border town of Miran Shah but nobody knows what is happening there.

The Zhawra area, which is close to the border with Pakistan, used to be the center of a popular commander, Mowlawi Jalaloddin Haqqani. Mowlawi Haqqani went into hiding after the fall of the Taliban and US troops are looking for him.
[Description of Source: Peshawar Afghan Islamic Press in Pashto -- Peshawar-based agency, staffed by Afghans; used to have good contacts with Taliban leadership; following the fall of the Taliban is seeking a new role for itself as a news agency; describes itself as independent and self-financing]

Afghan Opposition Leader Says Meetings Held To Unite Opposition Factions

GMP20040914000084 London Al-Hayah in Arabic 14 Sep 04 p8
[Report by Ahmad Muwaffaq Zaydan in Quetta, Pakistan: "'Jaish-i Muslimin' Leader to 'Al-Hayah': Intensive Meetings To Unite Afghan Opposition Factions"]
Akbar Agha, leader of Afghanistan's Jaish-i Muslimin organization, revealed to "Al-Hayah" yesterday that intensive meetings have been going on for weeks to coordinate between all the Afghan factions fighting the American forces and the Afghan forces loyal to them.
In statements he made near the border with Pakistan, he said he personally held intensive meetings with representatives of Hezb-e Eslami Leader Golboddin Hekmatyar, "Taliban's" military commander Mullah Dadallah, Afghan commander Jalaloddin Haqqani, and others to coordinate stands and set up a joint military shura council to command the military action inside Afghanistan.
Agha added that he is expecting the Afghan provinces to be distributed among the groups participating in the new shura council so as to coordinate the actions and avoid conflict of interests and activities between the forces opposed to the US presence.
The Jaish-i Muslimin leader was one of the prominent commanders under the "Taliban" but then established this group. He stressed that he remains loyal to Taliban's leader Mullah Mohammad Omar and said he is surprised that all the operations taking place in Afghanistan are being attributed to the "Taliban" and stressed that these operations are the work of several Afghan commanders and groups, some of which are known and others unknown. He denied that there is any contact between "Taliban" and the Americans to negotiate with Karzai and pledged to continue the fight until the American forces are expelled.

[Description of Source: London Al-Hayah in Arabic -- Influential Saudi-owned London daily providing independent coverage of Arab and international issues; commentaries occasionally critical of US policy]

Afghanistan: Al-Qai'da, Taliban Reportedly Appoint New Leaders in Various Provinces
IAP20050519011057 Kabul Arman-e Melli in Pashto 19 May 05
[Unattributed report: "The Taliban and Al-Qa'ida appoint new officials in Afghanistan"]

According to informed sources, the Taliban and Al-Qa'ida have appointed new leaders in a number of Afghan provinces. These appointments have been made because Al-Qa'ida and the Taliban suspect that their former leaders might reach an agreement with the government.

It is reported that Serajoddin Haqqani, the son of Mawlawi Jalaloddin Haqqani, has been appointed as the leader in the southeastern provinces of Paktika, Paktia, and Khowst. Malem Mohammad Zaman, has been appointed as his deputy.
A senior Taliban member added that Mawlawi Saiforrahman, a known Taliban commander, is alive and conducting operations against the US forces in the provinces of Logar and Paktia.
He also said that there were Arab mojahedin [holy warriors] in the provinces of Khowst, Paktika, and Paktia and they are led by Abolhais Aljaziri. Abu Akhlas is commanding more than 100 mojahedin in the [eastern] provinces of Konar and Nurestan.
[Description of Source: Kabul Arman-e Melli in Pashto -- Four-page independent daily with broad coverage of domestic political issues, including interviews with political figures. Also carries international, science health issues, and readers' letters, some of which are critical of the government]

Tenth Part of Serialized Book on Al-Zarqawi, Al-Qa'ida Published

GMP20050601712009 London Al-Quds al-Arabi in Arabic 24 May 05 p17
[Part 10 of serialized book by Fu'ad Husayn, Jordanian writer and journalist: "Al-Zarqawi...the Second Generation of Al-Qaida"]
Tightening the Noose on Bin Ladin
Shaykh Usama did not abide by the travel ban that was imposed on him after he delivered a lecture in which he warned against the covetous ambitions of Saddam Husayn. He went on with giving lectures and holding a large number of meetings with scholars and pro-da'wah activists. The authorities did not tolerate that. They summoned him more than once and sent him strong-worded warnings to curb his activity and intimidate him. A detachment of the National Guard stormed his farm on the outskirts of Jeddah and carried out an unexpected search operation. Shaykh Usama was not there when the farm was stormed. The National Guard arrested some laborers at the farm, who were later released. The guards wrote down minutes and videotaped the farm, the storage areas, and other quarters. When Shaykh Usama learned about the incident, he wrote a letter of protest to [Crown] Prince Abdallah [Bin-Abd-al-Aziz]. He was surprised when he received a reply from Prince Abdallah denying any knowledge of the incident and promising to punish those responsible.
The Saudi Government's crackdown on Usama Bin Ladin and the overall circumstances in the country prompted Shaykh Usama to think seriously about leaving Saudi Arabia. However, this was not possible under the travel ban and the government's close watch on his movements. Shaykh Usama, however, could not tolerate the presence of US forces in the Arabian Peninsula. He felt that he was contradicting himself when he initiated jihad against atheists in Afghanistan for occupying a Muslim country while infidels were right at home in the Arabian Peninsula, a more sacred place. Shaykh Usama was bitterly frustrated during Operation Desert Storm. He felt that he could never be honest with himself if he stayed in Saudi Arabia. His departure, however, was not easy since he was a well-known person and his home was under surveillance around the clock. Shaykh Usama, therefore, planned for a normal way to leave.
One of his brothers was a close friend of Deputy Interior Minister Prince Ahmad Bin-Abd-al-Aziz. Shaykh Usama told this brother that he had many financial obligations in Pakistan and elsewhere. He explained to him that he owed people some funds and some people owed him money that he should get. He told him that an agent would not be able to solve these problems since his relationships there were built on personal trust. His brother was convinced and promised to clarify the issue to Prince Ahmad. [Interior Minister] Prince Nayif [Bin-Abd-al-Aziz] was about to take a holiday then. Shaykh Usama's brother waited until Prince Nayif went on the holiday and spoke to Prince Ahmad. He was able to convince him to give Shaykh Usama back his passport and allow him to travel. Prince Ahmad agreed and gave Usama Bin Ladin permission for one trip. He ordered the security services to watch him. Therefore, Shaykh Usama was able to leave the country normally without running away or hiding.
The first thing that Shaykh Usama did when he arrived in Pakistan was to send an apology letter to his brother in which he told him that he would not return to Saudi Arabia. He admitted that his brother might be embarrassed before Prince Nayif but he apologized and said that it was worth the dear price. While he was in Afghanistan, Saudi intelligence under Prince Turki [al-Faysal] worked together with the Pakistani intelligence to kill or kidnap Shaykh Usama. However, all attempts failed since sympathizers within the Pakistani security services and other Pakistani departments used to leak information to him promptly to enable him to take precautions.
Bin Ladin stayed in Afghanistan for several months. He continued to exert efforts to solve the dispute there but he reached a stalemate. He felt that his presence in Afghanistan was pointless particularly that there were so many adversaries who would try to abduct or assassinate him. After he examined the situation with a number of his close aides, he decided to look for a place other than Afghanistan where he could promote Islam.
In Sudan
Shaykh Usama thought of Sudan not only because it could be a new foundation for a fresh plan but because he heard so much about the enthusiasm of Islamists there in support of Islam and Muslims and their endeavors to implement an Islamic project. Shaykh Usama thought that he could give something to this country by means of employing his business relations in the kingdom [Saudi Arabia] and other Gulf countries. Sudan, he believed, would be a safe haven for him.
At the end of 1991, Shaykh Usama flew to Sudan secretly on a private plane. He took a number of aides with him. Other people joined him via different routes. In Sudan, the government welcomed him, but at this stage he was not in need of financial support since he was in control of his assets. He was capable of transferring some of his assets and equipment from the kingdom to Sudan. Shaykh Usama did not participate in any military act in Sudan but he strongly contributed to building roads, farms, and other projects. Most famous of these projects was the Al-Tahaddi [Challenge] Road linking Khartoum to Port Sudan.
Although he left the kingdom in the aforementioned way and although there were attempts by Saudi Government services to kidnap or kill him in Afghanistan, Usama Bin Ladin did not announce his hostility to the regime. Rather, he kept it all to himself since he wanted to stay in touch with pro-da'wah activists, businessmen, and some influential people in the kingdom. This was actually an effective policy. Shaykh Usama succeeded in convincing a large number of his contacts to support Sudan and embark on investments in the African country. During that time, he received offers and assurances to return to his country but he did not welcome the idea at all.
Toward the end of 1992, interest in Usama Bin Ladin grew when a decision was made to freeze his assets. The issue became a priority on the agenda of US intelligence and a major topic of discussion between US and Saudi authorities. Pressure mounted on Shaykh Usama to return to his country. The authorities tried to embarrass him by exercising pressure on his family to blackmail him but to no avail. When the Saudi Government gave up hope of bringing him bring back to the country, King Fahd issued an order to withdraw his citizenship as of 1994.
In the aftermath of the Somalia events and the Riyadh bombing, his presence in Sudan became very embarrassing for the Sudanese Government. The United States and Arab countries exercised severe pressure on the Sudanese Government to expel or extradite him. Sudan endured the pressure but it became obvious that it was not prepared to stand it for a long time. Therefore, it began to press Arab Afghans to leave Sudan. Shaykh Usama was aware of the pressure on Sudan since the Sudanese Government used to inform him of the situation. It told him straightforwardly that he should think about leaving Sudan in view of the escalating US and Saudi pressure. On 3 August 1995, he wrote a letter to King Fahd urging him to carry out genuine reforms.
When Shaykh Usama felt that the Sudanese could not stand his presence any more and was embarrassed to tell him frankly to leave, he began to arrange for his departure from Sudan. He secured a location in Jalalabad and prepared to leave Sudan in utmost secrecy. He arranged for a private plane to transport him with a number of his supporters to Afghanistan where two shaykhs -- Yunis Khalis and [Jalaluddin] Haqqani -- welcomed him. Following his arrival, he sent a letter to Afghan factions telling them that he stood by his word to stay away from their disputes. This was before the Taliban took control of Jalalabad and Kabul. Soon after his arrival in Afghanistan, dramatic events occurred once again including the Al-Khubar explosion, the Taliban's takeover of Jalalabad, an attempt to kidnap him, and anti-US jihad statements that he issued in November 1996.
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