Resistance Leader: Taliban Terrorists ‘Responsible for the Catastrophe of Afghanistan’

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Source: Breitbart, By John Hayward, November 15, 2022

In an interview with independent journalist Tera Dahl, Afghan resistance leader Ahmad Massoud denounced the Taliban as no less extreme than the Islamic State and faulted both Western nations and the ousted government of Afghanistan for errors that allowed the Taliban to return to power.

Massoud urged well-meaning foreign powers to stop inadvertently subsidizing the Taliban regime through humanitarian aid and insisted resistance to the brutal “Islamic Emirate” continues with widespread support from the Afghan people.

Massoud, son of an anti-Soviet resistance fighter murdered by the Taliban and al-Qaeda two days before 9/11, is president of the National Resistance Front of Afghanistan. In his interview with Dahl, he repeatedly compared the Taliban to another worldwide terrorist threat, the Islamic State (ISIS).

“Give me one example, one action the Taliban do not do that ISIS does, which makes ISIS more extreme than the Taliban,” Massoud said. 

“If ISIS – with the same mentality, with the same brutality, with the same ideology, with the same behavior – is causing so much pain to the people of Kobani and Iraq and Syria; if they are allowed to defend, if they’re allowed to resist, why would I not be allowed, too?” he asked, referring to three regions where ISIS has hideously abused the common people.

Massoud said the “atrocities” and “injustice” perpetrated by the Taliban are growing.

“All the promises were broken,” he said. “The people are tired of this, and they know they want more than just, like, being able to breathe, being just servants … they don’t want to be slaves.”

“The Taliban are the main people who are responsible for the catastrophe of Afghanistan,” he declared.

Massoud warned the Taliban will eventually restore al-Qaeda and other allied terrorist groups to the threat level of 9/11, possibly within the next “three, four, or five years.”

“They’re regrouping. They’re recruiting. They’re training themselves. And, also, now they feel like whatever they do, no one will come,” he said.

Massoud claimed there are at least 23 terrorist groups active in Afghanistan today, far more than before the Taliban takeover, their strength bolstered by “thousands” of foreign fighters. He cited this growing terrorist threat as a reason Western governments should work with resistance groups to undermine Taliban rule.

Massoud alleged that his resistance group enjoys wide, if often muted, support from the terrorized Afghan people. He said, however, that he no longer seemed to think the armed struggle his mujahedeen fighters waged in the early months after President Joe Biden’s disastrous withdrawal had a chance of overthrowing the Taliban regime.

Where he once pleaded for “more weapons, more ammunition, and more supplies,” Massoud now asked for international pressure focused on “bringing the Taliban to the negotiating table” and launching a “national dialogue.”

“I’m not asking for any military support,” he told Dahl. “What I’m asking for is genuine attention to a situation of honest political support — political support for the people of Afghanistan finding political solutions for the situation of Afghanistan.”

Opportunities for such negotiations could be at hand in Massoud’s estimation as he noted there is widespread dissatisfaction with the Taliban’s harsh rule and “broken promises” to be less oppressive than the previous Taliban regime. He cited reports of Taliban fighters defecting to Tajikistan, joining the resistance, or abandoning the Taliban’s “false jihad” to return to tribal life. 

The resistance leader was highly critical of how both the administrations of Presidents Donald Trump and Joe Biden handled withdrawal from Afghanistan, charging them with demoralizing the representative government and leaving its loyal supporters too impoverished and ill-equipped to fight the Taliban “invasion.”

“The Doha agreement basically ignoring the Afghanistan government completely weakened the system, and lost all the confidence of many officials,” he argued, referring to negotiations between the U.S. and Taliban prior to withdrawal that excluded the elected government in Kabul.

The Taliban insisted on this exclusion because it portrayed the Afghan administration as a puppet of the United States. The Afghan administration had squandered most of its credibility with the U.S. government by wasting and looting billions of dollars in American aid — culminating in the final outrage and indignity of discovering, as the Taliban marched on Kabul, that many of Afghanistan’s troops were not real people at all, but figments of bureaucratic imagination invented to pad out budgets and payrolls.

Massoud postulated the poorly planned U.S. pullout from Afghanistan was a contributing factor to the Russian invasion of Ukraine because it made the U.S. appear unwilling to back up its security promises and unwilling to fight for the principles it attempted to impart during its 20-year mission in Afghanistan.

Massoud was especially unhappy with the Biden administration leaving billions of dollars in American military equipment behind for the Taliban to seize and turn against the resistance. He suggested the Taliban used captured government data to locate U.S.-trained Afghan military personnel who could operate the equipment Biden gifted them, pressuring them to cooperate by threatening their families.

Massoud had no patience for the Biden administration’s bizarre fiction that the Taliban is separate from the even more odious Haqqani Network, an organization of jihadis and criminals closely allied with al-Qaeda. Numerous members of the Haqqani Network have gone on to hold top positions in the Taliban regime, including the head of the network and an FBI most-wanted terrorist, Interior Minister Sirajuddin Haqqani. 

“Let’s not be confused. They are the same. The Taliban ideology and beliefs are the same as the Haqqanis,” he stressed.

“The relationship between al-Qaeda and the Taliban is the relationship of a teacher and student,” he stated. “And the relationship of a mentor and student, it’s unbreakable. It’s based on ideology.”

Although he said the Taliban obtains ample funding by looting the Afghan economy, Massoud was critical of the international community for unwittingly providing the terror state with even more revenue through well-meaning aid programs.

“$40 million every week that they’re sending through humanitarian aid,” he complained. “We very much appreciate it. You know, we are very grateful for it. However, some support like this, 40 million every week with no monitor to it, no entity to really watch it … it is empowering the Taliban.”

Massoud suspected the Taliban regime is even less honest than the notoriously murky U.S.-backed government about its finances. This opacity both distorts the international community’s sense of how much assistance the Afghan people require and makes it too easy for the Taliban to pilfer aid money. He also said the Taliban is ensuring its supporters receive most of the humanitarian assistance sent by the outside world.

“I believe that the policy is very weak,” he said. “It is not well thought out. America needs to pay more attention to the situation in Afghanistan, as humanitarian support should not lead to the empowerment of the Taliban or other terrorist groups.”

In early October, Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) introduced legislation that would add the Taliban regime to the list of state sponsors of terrorism, joining Cuba, North Korea, Iran, and Syria. 

“One of the best ways to protect the American people from these terrorists is to stop the money from flowing by formally designating Afghanistan as a state sponsor of terrorism,” Boebert said.

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