Monday, July 16, 2007

"The Neo-Talibans" - Al-Jazeera TV Documentary on the Mentality and Methods of the Taliban

"The Neo-Talibans" – Al-Jazeera TV Documentary on the Mentality and Methods of the Taliban
The following are excerpts from a television documentary on the "Neo-Talibans," which aired on Al-Jazeera TV on July 5, 2007:
Click here to view the clip
"Opium is Known as 'The Petroleum of the Afghans'... Taliban Itself is Financed By This Crop" 
Al-Jazeera TV reporter Ahmad Zeidan: "Opium is known as 'the petroleum of the Afghans.' The abundance of water in this region has been invested in a remarkable way. When America built these conduits in the days of the Afghan king Zahir Shah, it did not know they would be irrigating the poppy fields behind me. These fields, which account for half of Afghanistan's GNP, were destroyed by the Afghan Taliban movement, but they appeared again after its fall. Now, Taliban says it will not interfere in the daily affairs and livelihood of the Afghans. What was prohibited yesterday is permitted today."
"The workers harvesting the opium kept working around us, without interruption or inhibition. International and Afghan players are behind the great game of opium, and it is said that Taliban itself is financed by this crop, and in return, the Taliban keeps silent about it."

Haji Abd Al-Nasser Mirweyes, Taliban Commander, Hazara Jift region, Helmand: "I am very optimistic this year. The spring offensives will begin after the harvest season, when it is hot. The region's inhabitants are now working in agriculture, and when they finish their work, they will go to their homes, and take up their weapons in order to join us, Allah willing. I am very optimistic. In two to three months, you will witness a great change here in Helmand Province, Allah willing." [...]
"Allah Be Praised, the Locals Do Us a Great Service; They Welcome Us Into Their Homes, and We Can Set Up our Court Wherever we Want"
Reporter: "The neo-Talibans have understood that times have changed, and have become difficult. Therefore, they have set up mobile headquarters, in order to manage the regions under their control."
Rahmat Allah, governor of Hazara Jift region: "Our leaders have asked us to look for new locations, because the infidels have occupied our town. The mujahideen's tactics are to seek new locations for security reasons, and in order to spare the civilians any difficulties. We are prepared for any kind of sacrifice, but what we care about is what happens to the civilians. That is why we change our location every so often. Allah be praised, the locals do us a great service. They welcome us into their homes, and we can set up our court wherever we want. Nobody interferes in our affairs. Each of the two councils that happened to convene together when we visited has its own authorities and responsibilities."
Hajj Muhammad Anwar, member of the tribal shura council: "We in the tribal shura council deal with personal and tribal conflicts. The religious scholars rule on matters pertaining to religion. We maintain close coordination with the Taliban, and they give us whatever we want."
Reporter: "We were on our way to the front line of the Taliban. During the journey, we heard a song by the Afghan singer Darwish: 'Yesterday, we destroyed the Kremlin Palace, and today we are destroying the White House.'
"We reached the front line. We parked our cars in a hidden place. Dozens of fighters spread out there."
"The commanders communicated with the front line, in order to enable us to proceed toward it.
"The moment the commander pointed to the location of the Taliban's enemy, the latter began to shower us with bullets. The Taliban had orders to maintain the calm, and to entrench themselves.
"We are now at the front line of the Afghan Taliban fighters in Helmand Province. Political observers believe that the Americans made a complete error by assuming that the problem lay in the main cities of Afghanistan. They occupied these cities and took control of them, but they did not realize that it is these rural Afghan regions that constitute the turf of the Taliban fighters.
"The change and development of the military mentality have taken over the second emirate. Anybody who knew the first emirate senses the tremendous difference in the military tactics employed. This is evident in the use of international tactics of guerrilla warfare, such as concealing hundreds of fighters along the line of fire."
Hafez Hamid, front-line commander: "The purpose of the tunnels and trenches is to enable the mujahideen to hide and defend themselves during an enemy attack. After the enemy has passed over us, we attack it from behind. We have often defeated the enemy and caused it casualties this way.
"Our challenge is to restrict the battle. We are concerned that the battle might reach the populated regions, which the international and Afghan forces want to target, under the pretext of pursuing us."
Reporter: "This is what I was told by Hafez Hamid, who stressed that the fighters use a rota system."
"There are Many Mujahideen, Quite Enough"
Hafez Hamid: "Allah be praised, there are many mujahideen, several thousands. We replace them. The mujahideen come to the front line for 10-20 days, and then we send them back and bring another brigade. There are many mujahideen, quite enough."
Reporter: "This is a mujahideen preacher, who fights on the front line. I asked him why he is fighting here."
Preacher: "The infidels went beyond their borders and attacked our country. All the world's infidels have banded together to attack our country, to affront the religion of Islam, and to violate our honor. Because they violated our honor and occupied our country, Afghanistan, it is incumbent upon every man and woman to participate in Jihad, because this is an individual duty. That is why we set out to wage jihad."
Reporter: "Dadallah showed us CDs produced by the Taliban's information department. This is completely alien to the original mentality of Taliban, which prohibited the photography of any living thing. This led us to ask Dadallah to visit the Taliban's information hub.
"A new day bears new surprises for us. We drove in a convoy of cars, led by Dadallah himself. Within several hours, we reached the information center of Taliban. Dadallah supervised every detail, and issued written instructions. Youth in their 20s and 30s work at this information center, which has everything related to film production, in addition to issuing communiqués.
"The center was preparing to launch an FM radio service, in an effort to confront the enemy's propaganda, as they say.
"I wanted to visit the Taliban's production line of suicide bombers, or the fedayeen or martyrdom-seekers, as they are called by the Taliban. Eventually, Dadallah agreed, after I had been imploring him for months.
"We reached the place, and encountered dozens of Taliban men in military garb, training.
"The commander of the suicide – or fedayi – operations, was inciting them as part of their physical and psychological training. He said to them:"
Commander of the Taliban's suicide bombers brigade: "Our motto is to fight the infidels and all types of heresy in the world. The program of suicide attacks that we have started will force the infidels worldwide to know who we are. The Koran is replete with verses that remind us of our covenant with Allah. Allah willing, we will develop the fedayi program and operations, to the point that whoever loves Islam will prepare to carry out a fedayi operation against the infidels."
Reporter: "We were allowed to meet some of them. One of them explained why he was resorting to this method."
Omar Khan, member of the Taliban suicide bombers brigade: "The Koran, the hadith, and our commanders require us to make sacrifices and to carry out martyrdom operations. This is written in several places. Violence and oppression are directed against Muslims in countries in the Islamic world, such as Iraq, Palestine, Kashmir, and Afghanistan. The Muslims are humiliated every day, and therefore, we wanted to sacrifice our spirit and our blood, in order to help our people achieve freedom."
Reporter: "About a week after this meeting, Dadallah was killed. The fuel of the Taliban resistance, in the eyes of these fighters, is the foreign occupation, rumors about rape cases, the targeting of civilians, the corruption of the rulers, the maltreatment of the prisoners, and there are other reasons.
"We returned after a while to meet Dadallah's successor Haji Mansour. We encountered the same approach and the same mentality – from his interest in the media to his emphasis on suicide operations, and on the theory of the neo-Talibans.
"Haji Mansour surprised me when he told me that commander Abd Al-Nasser Mirweyes, who was our guide in Helmand, was killed along with his brother, Dadallah. The sun of a great Helmand commander has set. That's what Mansour said." 

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