Taleban Government Appoints Two New Ministers

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While government officials and the Peace Reconciliation Commission hope to decrease the size of these two anti-government groups [Taleban and Hezb-e Eslami] by encouraging them, Zahidollah says that there will not be an end to the war and problems of Afghanistan with some ordinary armed Taleban or Hezb-e Eslami members joining the Afghan government side. He said the Afghan government should invite the top leaders of the Taleban and Hezb-e Eslami and consider their aspirations and demands fully. He added that for example, Mullah Omar, Hekmatyar and Maulana Jalaloddin Haqqani must be invited to discuss Afghanistan's problems at leadership levels. The few Taleban who join the peace process will only save their lives and relax at home. If the problems were solved by a few Taleban members joining the peace process, it would have been done in the last four or five years.
[Passage omitted: repeat]
The deputy head of the Peace Reconciliation Commission has said in a programme about joining the peace process that this commission needs the international community's donations without any conditions. He added: "We are trying to provide a chance for anti-government insurgents to live peacefully and share both political and civilian issues of Afghanistan. They can even join the new Afghan government through elections, since they are Afghans."
Meanwhile those in charge of this commission say that hundreds of Taleban and Hezb-e Eslami members have joined this commission with their weapons. They add that 9,000 members of the Taleban and Hezb-e Eslami have joined the government side through this commission and more that 1,000 others have been released from Bagram and Guantanamo prisons. But reports state that some of these people have rejoined the anti-government group and are fighting the Afghan and international forces.

[Description of Source: Kabul Hasht-e-Sobh in Dari -- Eight-page secular daily launched in May 2007; editor-in-chief, Qasim Akhgar, is a political analyst and Head of the Association for the Freedom of Speech. ]

Taleban deny commander in talks with Afghan president
SAP20100627950068 Peshawar Afghan Islamic Press in Pashto 1350 GMT 27 Jun 10

Taleban deny commander in talks with Afghan president

Text of report by private Pakistan-based Afghan Islamic Press news agency
Kandahar, 27 June: The Taleban have strongly denied reports that Mawlawi Sarajoddin Haqqani and President Hamed Karzai have met.
The Taleban have strongly denied reports that an important and influential Taleban commander, Jalaloddin Haqqani, has met President Hamed Karzai and said the reports were attempts to creating divisions among the Taleban.
Taleban spokesman Zabihollah Mojahed described the reports as wrong and baseless and told Afghan Islamic Press (AIP) over the telephone: "The reports saying the active commander of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, Sarajoddin Haqqani, has met Hamed Karzai, are all untrue."
He added: "I spoke to Sarajoddin Haqqani on the telephone personally today at 1500 local time. He asked me to dismiss such claims and now, as spokesman for the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, I strongly dismiss these reports."
The Taleban spokesman said the Taleban were united and one and said the Taleban were engaged in jihad against the invading forces under one leadership and that such reports were just attempts of creating divisions among the Taleban.
Mojahed said: "As I have said before and I will repeat one more time, while foreign forces are in Afghanistan, we will not engage in talks with anyone. We will continue our armed jihad."
AIP asked a local commander loyal to Haqqani network about the reports. He said "These remarks are all untrue and baseless. The remarks by the spokesman for the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan are all correct."
Arabic Al-Jazeera TV recently aired reports saying Pakistani army chief Ashfaq Kayani and army military intelligence chief have assisted Sarajoddin Haqqani to meet President Karzai in Kabul.
Mawlawi Sarajoddin Haqqani is the son of Jalaloddin Haqqani, a renowned mojahedin commander who fought against the Soviet Union. Sarajoddin Haqqani has become famous for launching organized, strong and very deadly attacks against US, NATO and Afghan forces in Kabul, Logar and other southeastern provinces of Afghanistan. Besides inflicting casualties on Afghan and foreign forces, the group has put to question the capability of these forces.

[Description of Source: Peshawar Afghan Islamic Press in Pashto -- Peshawar Afghan Islamic Press in Pashto -- Peshawar-based agency, staffed by Afghans, that describes itself as an independent "news agency" but whose history and reporting pattern reveal a perceptible pro-Taliban bias; the AIP's founder-director, Mohammad Yaqub Sharafat, has long been associated with a mujahidin faction that merged with the Taliban's "Islamic Emirate" led by Mullah Omar; subscription required to access content; http://www.afghanislamicpress.com]

German Pro-Jihad Forum Posts Interview With 'German Taliban Mujahidin' Leader
EUP20100127101002 Jihadist Websites -- OSC Summary in German 25 Jan 10
[For additional open source reporting and analysis relevant to Islam and diaspora communities in Europe: OSC_ERIU@rccb.osis.gov, OSC's Islam in Europe Portal, or "ERIU" on Intellipedia]
On 25 January, a moderator of a German-language jihadist forum posted the text of an interview with Abu Ishaq Al-Muhajir (al-Muhadschir in German), amir of the German Taliban Mujahidin, entitled "Resistance Is the Only Way and the Connection to the Jihad."
The title of the text followed that of a similar statement released in October 2009 by the German Taliban Mujahidin, entitled "Resistance Is the Only Alternative and the Connection to the Jihad," in which Abu Ishaq called for resistance specifically against "German crusaders." However, no banner of the German Taliban Mujahidin appears this time, but rather only that of the producers of the text, the Elif Medya Information Group, which is considered the media arm of the Islamic Jihad Union (IJU). For more information on the October statement, please see: OSC Summary: 'German Taliban Mujahidin' Urges Resistance to 'German Crusaders' (EUP20091009101003).
The German Taliban Mujahidin recently called for support for "Yemeni brothers and sisters" in the form of "money, weapons, and soldiers" in a statement released on 16 January, which appeared on a large German-language conservative Islamic forum. For more information on the statement, please see: OSC Summary: Germany: German Jihadists Urge Support for Jihad in Yemen (EUP20100119091002).
The interview with Abu Ishaq read:
"Question: Who is Abu Ishaq Al-Muhajir and what information can you give us regarding the 'German Taliban Mujahidin'? What kind of group are they and what goals do they pursue?
"Answer: Before I begin, I express all praise and thanks to the only Rabb [Lord], Allah, blessed and exalted is He. He is the Rabb, who holds all souls in His hand, the all wise, the eternally steady. Peace and blessing be on Allah's messenger. He is the leader of all leaders and the best creature of all times.
"Abu Ishaq Al-Muhajir is a human among other humans. Among the eternally valid teachings of Allah's messenger, peace and blessing be upon him, the following groundbreaking statement by him is one of the most important: 'Be a human among humans.' If one considers it from this point of view, then I am only a human being without special abilities.
"I, Abu Ishaq Al-Muhajir, was born in Germany and, up to the age of university, lived in Germany. I spent my childhood and my youth in Germany. Thus I can say that I know the German people well. Eventually we are regarded as insurgents everywhere. But honestly, even if we are confronted everywhere with such things, for us this is of no particularly importance... the message, for which we stand, surpasses personal identities. What gives us dignity and honor is exclusively our Islamic identity! This identity is more valuable for us than all other identities. The meaning of the gift of life [in Islam] is directed towards ambitious significant goals. In contrast to this, life in a capitalistic society, in which they are deceived by a man-made failed system, is insignificant and without any meaning. And anyway, the real truth is that the Taliban crushed the cardboard towers of this world with their religious messages and will continue to crush them. Those who follow the way of the Koran and Sunnah are about to return this world to its original condition. The 'German Taliban Mujahidin' are a movement who belong to the aqida [creed], the Ahl Al-Sunnah wa Al-Jama'ah [the people of the traditional way and of the congregation; Sunni Muslims], which is very common in Afghanistan. Our movement works under the banner of the 'Islamic Emirates Afghanistan' and consists exclusively of German Mujahidin. So that Allah's religion, blessed and exalted is He, will be the only one on this earth according to which judgement is delivered, we open our hearts and doors to all our Mujahidin brothers and sisters, from Europe and particularly from Germany, and hope that we will fight shoulder to shoulder in the whole world against the occupying forces who are on Islamic ground.
"Question: What is the current condition of the Islamic resistance in Afghanistan?
"Answer: As one can see, neither the Americans nor any other power was able to destroy the greatest problem of the 20th century, communism. It was the Mujahidin who destroyed the USSR and communism and who, led by outstanding leaders such as Mullah Umar and Mullah Jalaluddin Haqqani, resisted the occupying forces as often before in history, and dealt them hard blows. We should look back in history at how, on the ground of Khorasan, the British and Russian occupying forces took very hard blows and therefore had to flee. And in exactly the same way, the Christian occupying forces and their Zionist alliance will have to accept a crushing defeat. Praise be to Allah, the Mujahidin who belong to the 'Islamic Emirates Afghanistan' carry out more than 80 operations a week against the occupying forces and their dogs who have turned away from religion. One of the most beautiful examples for the resistance prevailing in Afghanistan is the martyr operation that was accomplished at the CIA secret base in Khost.
"Question: What do you say to the fact that the 'German Taliban Mujahidin' are associated with 'terror' and 'death' and regarded as identical [to them]?
"Answer: This is a completely absurd statement. You have to know that the same accusations were made against Allah's messenger, peace and blessing be upon him, that is, that, if Muhammad, peace and blessing be upon him, would come into our time he would be called a terrorist as well. When Amr bin As, may Allah be pleased with him, the deputy of Mecca, who at that time was still not a Muslim, spoke with Nejashi, he told him: 'The Muslims are insurgents. They brought discord between father and son.' At that time, not to belong to the Kuffar [unbelievers] meant being a troublemaker and someone who brings discord. When King Frederick expelled the Muslims from the island of Sicily, he said: 'These are all insurgents.' When the king of Byzantium started a war against the Muslims, he used the term: 'These are insurgents of the desert.' What I want to say by that is that this has been going on for all time... either you are with us or with the insurgents... or nowadays [you are] a terrorist. Let us take the Berbers as example... the word Berber is derived from barbarian, that is, someone who did not subject himself to the Roman Empire and thus belonged to the barbarians. There are even 'barbarian tribes' and only because they did not accept the rule of the Roman Empire... otherwise the Romans, in terms of cruelty, were much more cruel. It was the Romans who let humans be torn apart by lions. And nowadays you can of course trust again the modern Romans and call the 'German Taliban Mujahidin' terrorists. Nevertheless we will never be 'terrorists.' Only if Muhammad, peace and blessing be upon him, was a terrorist then are we terrorists as well. Since we do not stand on the side of the occupying power America and her fascist servant Germany we are terrorists. You can call us whatever you like, but since the year 2000, in Afghanistan, Palestine, Chechnya, and Iraq, more than 100,000 children were killed. And who is responsible for this? When 60 Jews died, a minute's silence was held the whole world over. When, however, 100,000 children died in the Islamic world nobody batted an eyelash. I leave things here to the conscience of each individual....
"Question: Is there a special group of Mujahidin, who are under the command of the amir of the 'German Taliban Mujahidin,' Abu Ishaq Al-Muhajir? And what kind of the training do they get?
"Answer: To be honest, I do not have a guard of my own, because I am not a sultan or something like that. Of course we have Mujahidin who have very good knowledge of weapons and equipment. These are not bound to me, but act according to instructions from the Taliban. This training is provided within a very extensive framework, that is, lessons about chemical and explosive materials, Hadith and Shariah lessons, up to the science of all weapons of our time. In addition to that, we have knowledge, among other things, about the field of espionage and intelligence service or the handling of computers. The 'German Taliban Mujahidin' are presently a very modern combat troop. A military unit, which is light, effective, and vigorous.
"Question: Your final word... to the resistance fighters... to the Afghan people... to the American and German people?
"Answer: "We say to our leaders in jihad and to our brothers and sisters: 'Be proud of yourselves and fight, with all force against the occupying forces.' To the Afghan people: 'For the fact that you supported us and did not refuse assistance to us and always waited patiently, we will not leave you and this country alone.' To the American and German people: 'For how long do you want to believe this insanity? And say to your leaders that they have to come to their senses and should not spill the blood of our and your soldiers. We will withdraw the soldiers of Allah, blessed and exalted is He, from our obligation to fight no sooner and will continue to fight so long until your last man dies on the battlefield."

Pakistan: Death Toll of Multiple US Drone Attacks in N Waziristan Reaches 31

SAP20100204118003 Islamabad The News Online in English 04 Feb 10
[Report by Mushtaq Yusufzai: "Drone attack death toll climbs to 31"]
[Text disseminated as received without OSC editorial intervention]
PESHAWAR: The death toll of Tuesday's attack by nine US drones in North Waziristan rose to 31 on Wednesday as 14 more bodies were retrieved from the houses destroyed in the missile strikes.
Official sources in Miramshah, the main town of North Waziristan, said seven among the victims were foreigners, but they did not provide details about their nationality. The victims did not include any senior local or foreign militant commander, the officials said.
Government officials as well as the Taliban militants were astonished by unattributed media reports that veteran Afghan Mujahideen leader Maulvi Jalaluddin Haqqani was among those killed in the drone strikes.
"I don't know who is feeding these television channels. They should at least double check when there is any sensitive issue," said a government official based in Miramshah. The Taliban said they were surprised over the media reports that had declared Maulvi Jalaluddin Haqqani dead in the strikes.
"Why a senior Taliban figure like Maulvi Sahib would stay in the Dattakhel area where drones are flying round-the-clock. He is in good health but far away from here," claimed a militant commander. Officials said nine US drones had taken part in the biggest missile strikes so far in the Pakistani tribal areas.
There were reports that the drones struck seven militant camps located in the mountains. The Taliban confirmed that they had suffered human losses in the attacks but did not agree with media reports about the figures. "They targeted only those places where we have installed anti-aircraft guns to fire at the spy planes," claimed a militant commander, who wished not to be named. He said it seemed the US forces had lost patience after suffering huge losses in Afghanistan.
Tribal sources said raining a barrage of missiles in the Dattakhel area had scared local villagers, particularly women and children. They complained the villagers spent a sleepless night after the strikes, which they said had shaken the entire mountainous town.

[Description of Source: Islamabad The News Online in English -- Website of a widely read, influential English daily, member of the Jang publishing group. Neutral editorial policy, good coverage of domestic and international issues. Usually offers leading news and analysis on issues related to war against terrorism. Circulation estimated at 55,000; URL: http://www.thenews.com.pk/]

Former Afghan Taliban Tell UK Source Karzai Reconciliation Scheme Gave 'Nothing'
EUP20100131031005 London Sunday Times Online in English 31 Jan 10
[Report by Marie Colvin in Pul-i-Alam, Logar province, additional reporting by Miles Amoore: "Hamid Karzai Fails Taliban who Gave Up Arms"]
THE room the Taliban commander Mullah Mohammad now calls home, after bringing his 21 fighters to join the Afghan government's reintegration programme earlier this month, is barely more comfortable than the mountain redoubt he left.
He sits on a thin mat and leans against the wall, his skin dark and weathered, facing the battered Kalashnikovs and a vintage Russian mortar launcher he surrendered in return for promises of money, jobs and land for him and his men.
Instead, the peace and reconciliation commission (known as PTS, its acronym in Dari), set up by the president, Hamid Karzai, in 2005, handed them letters guaranteeing free passage. And nothing else. Mohammad, 48, is stunned and speaks slowly.
"We were fighting all day, and we had nothing to show for it," he said. "I began thinking, 'Why are we killing our Afghan brothers?'"
Like many mid-level Taliban commanders, he is a conservative tribal Pashtun, not an extremist ideologue. He is the perfect candidate for the government's reintegration programme, which will be absorbed into the bigger and better-funded reintegration council announced by Karzai at last week's London conference. Donors there pledged $140m (£90m) towards a $500m fund to pay the Taliban to lay down their arms.
"They (the PTS) told us they'll protect us, and that we would have the chance to have jobs. Now we have nothing," Mohammad says.
The drive to Pul-i-Alam, the capital of Logar province, most of which is controlled by the Taliban, was fraught.
The former Taliban commanders I went to meet there had fought in the Haqqani organisation, led by Jalaluddin Haqqani, a 60-year-old warlord who battled the Soviets.
He is said to be ailing and has ceded control of his military wing to his son Sirajuddin Haqqani, a militant in his early forties responsible for a deadly escalation in the Afghan war.
Haqqani is based in north Waziristan, just across the Pakistani border, but most of his attacks are inside Afghanistan. He has boasted that he sent down this same highway the suicide bombers and gunmen who attacked Kabul ministries, shops and a hotel earlier this month, on the day Karzai swore in his new cabinet.
His other great coup was to prime a Jordanian double agent to kill seven CIA agents inside an American base last month.
Last year, Haqqani set up flying checkpoints on this highway to Logar, which is hated by American troops because the Taliban constantly seed the route with improvised explosive devices.
Huddled in the back seat of a car, I was swathed in a brown wool blanket, and instructed to pretend I was asleep if we were stopped at a checkpoint. I was happy it was snowing and the windows were steamed up. Nobody could see inside.
An hour outside town, I called the PTS and it sent an armed escort. Several of its officials have been killed on this road. In Pul-i-Alam, I was bundled into its compound by armed men, keen that nobody should see a foreigner.
The Taliban commanders in Logar gave an insight into the gulf between the promises at last week's conference and the harsh reality on the ground.
Few in London appeared to recall that Karzai set up the PTS five years ago, although it has been poorly funded so far.
Two former Taliban commanders joined Mullah Mohammad. Moulana Saheb Said Ajan, a senior Taliban figure, was angry. "I brought 40 fighters to the PTS," he said. "I told my men: 'Other countries are making planes and computers. Why are we freezing in the mountains? We should be building our country.'"
Ajan changed sides after falling out with Haqqani's "Pakistan Taliban", so called because they allegedly receive money from Pakistan's intelligence service, the ISI. He said many more would join if the money was there and they felt safe.
As a commander, Ajan was not paid a salary, although foot soldiers are paid about $200 a month, considerably more than the Afghan police.
"I told the leaders what I needed, and they sent it," Ajan said. "They always paid immediately." He said he received 200,000-500,000 Pakistani rupees (£1,500-£3,700) every month, either smuggled from Dubai, or in bags of cash that would fill the back of pick-up trucks from Pakistan. Ajan decided to take the PTS offer after he was ordered to carry out a raid he disagreed with. "We were on top of the mountain and Haqqani's people ordered us to the district office here in Pul-i-Alam, to destroy a United Nations vehicle to make them leave," he said. "I'm 28 years old. I just didn't want to do this any more."
He sent tribal elders to check out the PTS and they came back with assurances of money, jobs and security for his family and fighters. "I'm now living on the floor of this office," Ajan said dejectedly. "The Taliban are now dropping letters through our doors, saying if we don't return they'll kill us."
The success of the reintegration programme is crucial to any transition to Afghan rule. It would take hardened fighters off the battlefield and into the army and police force, which NATO wants to increase to 400,000 men by 2015. But for the system to work, the money must reach the fighters and not be siphoned off.
Ajan's story also illustrates the differences between commanders on the ground and the Taliban leadership, which will have to be part of a political solution if there is to be any lasting peace. "I strongly believe we need to reach the Taliban leaders," said Najibullah Mojadidi, the elder son of the PTS chairman and a member of Karzai's national security committee.
"As long as they're not convinced, they'll always have people in Afghanistan prepared to continue the fighting."
* Two American soldiers were shot dead by a disgruntled Afghan interpreter, who was then killed himself, at a base in Wardak province yesterday. Hours later, four Afghan soldiers were killed when a US airstrike hit their base nearby.

[Description of Source: London Sunday Times Online in English -- Website of best-selling center-right Sunday newspaper; in-depth coverage of national and international news and politics; owned by Rupert Murdoch's New International; website only available on Sunday; URL: http://www.timesonline.co.uk]

Pakistan: Haqqani's Son Among 4 Said Killed in Drone Strike in North Waziristan
SAP20100218093009 Karachi ARY News Television in Urdu 18 Feb 10
Four people have been killed and five injured in a US drone strike in Miram Shah area of North Waziristan Agency. There are reports that son of Maulana Jalaluddin Haqqani has also been killed in the attack.

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