The Taliban claim they were unaware that Ayman al-Zawahiri lived in central Kabul.Ayman Zawahiri

Taliban leader says he didn’t know Al Qaeda boss Ayman Zawahiri He had moved to Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan.

“Islamic Emirate Afghanistan There is no information regarding Ayman al-Zawahiri’s arrival and stay in Kabul,” the militants said in a statement, using the name they chose for the unrecognized regime.

The statement was released more than three days later Attack on a house in the capital Sherpur district.

Taken at face value, this claim is extraordinary. This suggests the Taliban have little control over the center of the capital, which includes heavily guarded areas frequented by the most elite leaders.

It also meant they failed to track down or control the terrorist groups that were a key part of the 2020 deal with Washington that paved the way for the Taliban to return to power as U.S. troops withdrew. increase.

Under the Doha Accords, the Taliban promised the United States that Afghanistan would not host terrorist groups that would threaten the United States and its allies.

Just two days before the drone attack, Home Minister Sirajuddin Haqqani told Indian media outlets that al-Qaeda was a “dead” organization that does not exist in Afghanistan.

But US officials say the apartment where Zawahiri was killed was rented by one of Haqqani’s aides.

If the Taliban’s denial seems plausible, it may have been the only way out of the political shackles created by Zawahiri’s assassination.

The Taliban are seeking international recognition for their rogue regime in hopes of softening the economic collapse by ending sanctions and releasing funds for aid and business. A positive reaction does not help the cause.

Al-Qaeda and its leaders, however, are held in high esteem by many of al-Qaeda’s leaders, and a drone strike in the center of the capital is likely to be seen as an attack on their sovereignty. could not be ignored.

Suhail Shaheen, the Taliban’s designated UN representative based in Doha, said the regime was investigating both whether Zawahiri was in Kabul and whether he was killed and would share the results.

“An investigation is currently underway to determine the veracity of both claims,” ​​he said in a text message to reporters.

In a statement, the Taliban said they wanted to “implement the Doha Accord” and that Afghanistan poses no threat to the United States.

However, the statement accused Washington of “invading.”[ing] our territories and violations[ing] It barely warned that it would incorporate “all international principles” into the attack and would consider retaliation in the event of a future drone strike.

Several members of the government, including Haqqani, still harbor bounties related to past terrorist attacks and reportedly live in fear of assassination attempts and keep a low profile. , are moving regularly.

“If such actions are repeated, the United States will be held responsible for any consequences,” the statement said.

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It was an open secret to many Kabul circles that the neighborhood was flooded with “Arabs,” a term understood to refer to al-Qaeda operatives and their families.

The area was swarmed with elite forces in the immediate aftermath of Sunday morning’s explosions and is now heavily guarded, despite the Taliban claiming they don’t know if the al-Qaeda boss was on their doorstep or killed. It is

The Taliban claim they were unaware that Ayman al-Zawahiri lived in central Kabul.Ayman Zawahiri

Source link The Taliban claim they were unaware that Ayman al-Zawahiri lived in central Kabul.Ayman Zawahiri

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