New statement from the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan: “Regarding the Supposed Loya Jirga of the Kabul Administration”

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As Afghanistan is in dire need of peace and intra-Afghan negotiations following the agreement terminating the occupation of Afghanistan, it is imperative that all sides understand the need of this time and refrain from creating obstacles for the present opportunity.

That the Kabul administration has decided to summon a supposed Loya Jirga under the pretext of deciding the fate of 400 prisoners and could possibly use it as a tool against peace and wishes of the nation, hence, convening such a Jirga before reaching comprehensive peace and political settlement can in no way be representative of the people or hold any legal status because the Kabul administration itself is illegitimate.

Every decision that opposes Afghan sovereignty, establishment of a complete Islamic system and aspirations of the people will never be acceptable to the Afghan nation.

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan

15/12/1441 Hijri Lunar

15/05/1399 Hijri Solar                   05/08/2020 Gregorian

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New statement from the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan: “Condolences Concerning the Beirut Bombing”

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It is with great sadness to have learnt that a huge explosion caused by an explosives warehouse in the capital of Lebanon, Beirut, has killed tens of Lebanese civilians, wounded hundreds and caused extensive damage and destruction.

The Islamic Emirate shares the grief of the Lebanese people, extends its sincere condolences and wishes patience upon the grieving families.

Our hope is that such tragic events are prevented and that the Lebanese people and government work together to lend comprehensive aid to the families affected by the bombing.

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan

15/12/1441 Hijri Lunar

15/05/1399 Hijri Solar                   05/08/2020 Gregorian

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New statement from the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan: “Regarding A Ceasefire During ‘Īd al ‘Aḍḥā”

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In order that our compatriots may spend the days and nights of Eid-ul-Adha in even more security and joy, all Mujahideen are instructed to halt offensive operations against enemy forces during the three days and nights of Eid-ul-Adha.

However, if the opposition carries out an attack, they must be met with a strong response.

Moreover, all Mujahideen are notified that no one has permission to enter enemy controlled areas and neither are opposition elements allowed to enter our areas. Spend Eid in your own areas and provide a peaceful and secure environment for the general public.

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan

07/12/1441 Hijri Lunar

07/05/1399 Hijri Solar                   28/07/2020 Gregorian

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New statement from the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s Shaykh Hībat Allah Akhūnd Zādah: “Message of Felicitation On the Eve of ‘Īd al ‘Aḍḥā”

To the Muslim Afghan nation, Mujahideen, families of martyrs, the disabled, imprisoned and entire Islamic Ummah!

Peace, Mercy and Blessing of Allah be upon you all!

Before anything else, I would like to extend by felicitation to you all on the occasion of Eid-ul-Adha. I pray to Allah (SwT) to accept your sacrifice, Jihad, migrations and struggles for Islam. May Allah (SwT) accept the martyrdom of the martyrs, free the captives from prisons, turn the sorrow of grieving families to joy and may Allah (SwT) provide quality provisions for the good care and healthy upbringing of the orphans, Ameen O’ Lord of the Universe.

 

Mujahid Brothers!

Consider the protection of your compatriots and defending their life, property, honor and interests your functional obligation. Treat civilian life with utmost care. Exert efforts in facilitating courts and related organs with resolution of civil dispute cases. Pay serious attention to the security of main roads and highways and extend assistance to merchants in the transport of goods and treat them with good manners.

As we are on the threshold of establishing an Islamic government due to the Help of Allah and your selfless sacrifices, Allah willing and that is for Allah not difficult, hence you must further strengthen and organize your ranks and solidify internal bond and cohesion because all of this (achievements) is due to unity and solidarity. Give greater attention to obedience and taqwa (piety and fear of Allah), be thankful to Allah and refrain from all talk and action that can become a cause for the displeasure of Allah (SwT) and change success into failure.

 

Afghan Mujahid Nation!

Our Jihad was and continues to be for ending the occupation and establishing a pure Islamic government, therefore, we reassure our Mujahid and persecuted nation that their aspirations will not be betrayed, Allah willing. Our clear message remains that we are not looking for monopoly over power because all the diverse Afghan tribes and ethnicities are in need of one another – rather the consummation, sovereignty and power of an Islamic system is tied with the unity and oneness of Afghans. Islam orders us all towards Islamic brotherhood, honesty and bestowing responsibility upon those qualified. Every individual in society is entitled to exercise all the rights and privileges of life and have their political and social status determined on the basis of merit and piety.

Afghanistan is the shared home of all Afghans and it is the responsibility of every Afghan to develop this home, protect its religious and national interests and defend its sovereignty and borders.

Our ongoing struggle is a tool for achieving the above objectives. If these goals can be achieved through talks and understanding then we completely support it and consider sincere and serious dialogue one of the fundamental ways for finding a resolution.

We do not hold personal vendetta against anyone but have raised arms to defend the sovereignty of our homeland and establish a pure Islamic government. We seek a peaceful life with everyone once those objectives have been met.

 

Intra-Afghan Negotiations:

The Islamic Emirate has fulfilled its obligations regarding signing an agreement with the United States in Doha and efforts towards launching intra-Afghan negotiations.

It is now up to the other parties to determine how they utilize this opportunity at hand.

Exchange of prisoners which served as a reason for the joy and assurance of thousands of grief-stricken families was a key development which should not have been delayed by the other side. As we are taking steps towards peace, the prisoner release process plays a big part in building trust and shortening our path towards that end.

Domestic parties should immediately remove all obstacles obstructing intra-Afghan dialogue and give priority to the greater interests of our homeland over division of smaller interests so that the Afghans may jointly eliminate all internal and potential causes of war and conflict, restore peace to our homeland and reach an understanding among themselves over future Islamic government.

 

Foreign Forces:

It is good progress that the Americans and their allies have begun implementing the Doha agreement by initiating the withdrawal of their forces, evacuating five bases and preparing to withdraw all the remaining military and non-diplomatic personal in line with their obligations in the Doha agreement.

The Islamic Emirate remains committed to the agreement signed with the United States. The civilian and military organs of the US government and their allies must also honor the agreement signed with the Islamic Emirate and not create obstacles for ending of the longest war in American history with unwarranted remarks and propaganda.

The United States of America must show seriousness, urgency and prudence in the implementation of such a significant and vital process, make use of experiences gained over the past nineteen years and then properly execute its obligations. For example – extending the ten-day prisoner exchange process to four months, the continuing existence of black lists and carrying out frequent drone strikes, bombardments, raids and artillery attacks on unjustifiable grounds do not serve the interests of anyone nor can such actions play a role in winning the war. Rather such actions are counterproductive and only birth more complications, hence, it becomes imperative that both the United States and the international community take this issue seriously and stop creating further problems.

The biggest issue at hand that needs addressing by the international community is the subject of a very small group unaware of the pains and demands of society being imposed upon the economic resources, reserves and seat of power, whom care not for the higher national interests of Afghanistan, are engaged in a struggle for short-term interests and power, do not give importance to the long-term success and prosperity of the country, delay and obstruct national and other key processes and continually endanger the greater interests of our homeland.

 

International Relations:

Bringing peace and security to Afghanistan is in the interest of the entire world including the neighboring and regional countries.

The Islamic Emirate is in favor of good relations with all countries of the world. It seeks to maintain relations with Islamic countries in the framework of brotherhood and on the basis of cooperation, emphasizes upon creating an atmosphere of goodwill and trust with neighboring countries, does not seek interference in the internal affairs of others and also wants others to not interfere in our domestic affairs because only such constructive interaction can prove beneficial in security, economic and social spheres for both our and their countries.

 

Reconstruction:

Following the withdrawal of foreign forces, the Islamic Emirate wants serious steps to be taken for the reconstruction and development our homeland under the shade of a pure Islamic government.

Treasury must be used appropriately and with complete transparency, exceptional plans must be made to rehabilitate the foundations of our ruined nation and pathways must be paved for international economic investment in line with the greater interests of our homeland so that our devasted and war-torn country can take swift strides towards reconstruction, comprehensive development and economic self-sufficiency; our cities and villages can prosper; our compatriots can find employment and be rescued from impoverishment, hardships, emigration and suffering in other countries; can live a bright, happy and self-reliant life under the shade of an Islamic legal system and breathe a sigh of relief in an atmosphere of bliss and security.

 

Education and Learning:

Education and learning are vital necessities of life. The new generation and youth must adorn themselves with knowledge and wisdom, focus on acquiring education and not waste their precious time.

Delivering education to every corner of the country is a central pillar of our objective. That is why the Islamic Emirate has instructed all Mujahideen to pay extra attention to the education of children of the nation and to facilitate and fully cooperate in the construction of educational institutes, madrasas (religions seminaries) and schools.

 

Opposition Fighters:

Our message again to individuals and opponents fighting in the opposition ranks is to end your fight and resistance. The door of amnesty of the Islamic Emirate remains open for them. We do not want their families to be left without a caretaker. Our efforts shall focus on convincing them about joining the Mujahideen and safeguarding their lives and that is why we have a Call and Guidance, Recruitment Commission in our structure.

 

Observing Code of Conduct and Principles:

The officials, Mujahideen and workers of the Islamic Emirate should do their utmost to strengthen and maintain their administrative discipline and unity of rank by implementing the rules and procedures outlined in the code of conduct booklets along with decrees and directives issued by the leadership for all localities because by doing so, it ensures that both our rights and the rights of citizens are secured, security established, national cohesion reinforced and national interests protected.

 

As the blessed days of Eid-ul-Adha are for spreading joy and sympathizing with the needy, all our wealthy and well off compatriots must aid and extend help to the best of their abilities to those in need especially to the orphans, widows and poor families so they too can at least be free from destitution in these days of Eid.

To end, I once again extend my felicitation to you all on this auspicious occasion of Eid-ul-Adha and may all your obedience and worship be accepted.

 

Leader of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan

Amir-ul-Mumineen Sheikh-ul-Hadith Mawlawi Hibatullah Akhundzada

07/12/1441 Hijir Lunar

07/05/1399 Hijri Solar                   28/07/2020 Gregorian

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New release from Iḥsān Allah Iḥsān: “The Story Of the Rise and Fall of ISIS in Khurāsān”

Before announcing its organizational setup in Khorasan, ISIS had contacts with many jihadist groups in the region. They wanted to announce a comprehensive structure for Khorasan that could compete with the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan who founded the Taliban movement in September 1996. The biggest difficulty for ISIS in establishing an organizational structure in the region was the respect found in jihadi circles for the Islamic Emirate. Many militants had given bayah (allegiance) to Mullah Mohammed Omar, the spiritual leader of IEA. No commander or group could afford to oppose the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan due to years of ideological and emotional attachment which was difficult for all groups to overcome in one fell swoop. Therefore, the TTP Orakzai, a part of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), were given the leadership of ISIS Khorasan because Commander Hafiz Saeed Orakzai and his group shared religious ideals and belonged to the same school of thought. In addition, the Arab Mujahideen which is part of ISIS had previous contacts with both Sheikh Maqbool (also known as Shahidullah Shahid, former spokesperson for TTP) and Hafiz Saeed Orakzai.

These people did not have a history of positive feelings towards the Islamic Emirate. They considered IEA to be a regional organization or movement limited to Afghanistan. The question arose, why hadn’t they declared the ideology of global jihad instead of concentrating on a national focus? They also expressed these feelings in private but their small numbers and the respect of other groups for the Islamic Emirate forced them to remain silent.

After the establishment of ISIS’s Khorasan branch, a media campaign was launched for them to attract other fighters. This campaign was effective and many people moved from Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, Jamaat-ul-Ahrar and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi to ISIS Khorasan. I remember that Jamaat-ul-Ahrar (a break- away group from TTP) was also made an offer by ISIS to become a part of ISIS Khorasan. This was also discussed within the organization (Jamaat ul Ahrar). The head of the Jamaat ul Ahrar, Omar Khalid Khorasani wanted to join ISIS but three or four other people, including myself, opposed it. However despite this, we were ordered to start supporting ISIS in the media unannounced or at least not to oppose the group. In addition, ISIS contacted TTP and tried to use persuasive tactics but these approaches were strongly rejected. Some commanders went individually in support of ISIS but after a while they too became remorseful and joined TTP again.

As the debate over joining ISIS within the Jamaat-ul-Ahrar escalated, we decided in consultation that instead of joining the Khurasan branch of ISIS, we should be made head of ISIS’s “Wilayah Hind” which includes Pakistan, India and Bangladesh. ISIS main focus was however Afghanistan and they refused to accept the demand of Jamaat-ul-Ahrar. To achieve this goal, Jamaat-ul-Ahrar sent a delegation, one was also sent to ISIS Central Command in Iraq and Syria, which I will describe in detail on another occasion.

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After announcing the existence of ISIS in Khorasan, ISIS then declared the caliphate in the region, but they were not prepared for it at all.

ISIS fighters have mostly occupied Pashtun areas of Afghanistan bordering Pakistan where there is a tradition and culture that the residents are not willing to give up, especially if someone tries to force them. ISIS did not respect or realize this and they wanted to impose a self-styled caliphate on its residents and impose its own ideology. As a result, people became fierce opponents of the group and even took up arms and started forming anti-ISIS lashkars. ISIS responded by carrying out extremely inhumane acts against the common people which proved to be the starting point of their downfall. In addition, ISIS did not take any precaution in its operations against government targets in Afghanistan, targeting mostly civilians who, according to its ideology, had the right to be expelled from Islam and killed.

In view of this practice, Sheikh Abdul Rahim Muslim Dost, who introduced ISIS in the region not only quit the group but also declared their actions un-Islamic and inhumane which was a great shock to ISIS. Later on the Tehreek-e-Taliban also issued a fatwa against ISIS. These announcements and fatwas naturally raised suspicions among the militants about ISIS. One of the main reasons for the militant keeping a distance from ISIS was that they forced those who joined the organization to follow a particular school of thought because they considered other people as heretics and misguided. It is a very difficult decision for any religious person to leave his school of thought, this process kept the militants away from ISIS. Public opinion also formed very quickly against ISIS and none accepted the group wholeheartedly. That is why the people or other groups who were thinking of moving towards them, in reality moved away.
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Claims of operations by the Afghan government and NATO forces against ISIS continue to surface however the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan challenged the group soon after it formed and IEA continue to have a key role to play in kicking ISIS out of the region. The government operations against ISIS were limited in impact because the government did not exist in areas where ISIS had strongholds. Therefore, as soon as the operations started, ISIS would move to other nearby areas after a slight resistance and re-settle when the operation ended. In addition, information on the relations of ISIS with various states and their sponsorship began to surface through a series of rumours. I will analyse these during later sessions with some undeniable facts highlighting how state operations against ISIS were largely ineffective.

In contrast, when the Islamic Emirate launched operations against ISIS, this proved disastrous for them. These operations were more effective because the Islamic Emirate was not only present at the local level but also most importantly had the support of the people of Nangarhar behind them. After operations against ISIS in different parts of the country, ISIS fled to Kunar, another province of Afghanistan, where they already had hideouts. A determined Islamic Emirate pursued them here as well and as soon as winter was over they launched operations against ISIS dispersing their fighters and making it difficult for them to live in the mountains.

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The Islamic Emirate’s successive operations against ISIS have killed most of its remaining fighters who survived earlier operations. It became increasingly difficult for ISIS to survive in the mountainous areas of Kunar and Nangarhar in Afghanistan. This was due to the disconnect of ISIS Khorasan from ISIS Central Command in Iraq and Syria that had previously sent delegations to each other and the constant war situation, they also fell victim to a severe financial crisis which led to a state of chaos within the organization.

In this difficult situation, ISIS Khurasan fighters had two options, either to be killed or to surrender to the Afghan government. ISIS fighters began surrendering in the hope that they would be released after being held in a rehabilitation centre for some time because there were already known examples where the Afghan government released those who had given themselves up.

Following operations by the Islamic Emirate, the surviving leadership of ISIS turned to the cities of Afghanistan from where the news of fellow fighters being arrested was emerging. The names of Aslam Farooqi and Abu Omar Al-Khurasani are noteworthy. After contacting some former friends inside ISIS, Abu Talha Khurasani claimed that his arrested leadership had surrendered to the Afghan government which had declared his arrest but their claims are difficult to substantiate.

In light of all this, I can say with certainty that it is now impossible for ISIS to maintain its presence in this region (Khorasan). The implementation of the peace agreement between the United States and the Taliban in Afghanistan will make their problems worse and it will be impossible for ISIS to stay there. The only way for ISIS to survive is for an agency or the state to sponsor the group and breathe new life into it. In the past, states and agencies have taken such a course for their own interests.

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