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Al Qaeda’s message to Taliban calls for ‘Kashmir liberation’ but is silent on Uyghurs in Xinjiang

Al Qaeda congratulates Taliban for Afghanistan victory, calls it an opportunity for the masses in 'Europe and East Asia to break free from the shackles of American hegemony'.

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New Delhi: The al Qaeda Tuesday congratulated the Taliban for its victory in Afghanistan and called for the “liberation” of Kashmir, Palestine, Maghreb (Northwest Africa) from the “clutches of the enemies of Islam”. It, however, made no explicit mention about East Turkestan or human rights abuses in Xinjiang in China.

“O’ Allah! Liberate the Levant, Somalia, Yemen, Kashmir and the rest of the Islamic lands from the clutches of the enemies of Islam,” read a statement from the terror group published on its media wing, As-Sahab.

 

Free “Palestine from Zionist occupation and the Islamic Maghreb from French occupation,” it added.

The statement came as the last US military flight departed Kabul airport Monday, marking the end of America’s 20-year war in Afghanistan. Celebratory gunfire by the Taliban was heard after the last plane departed, reported the BBC.

The terror group also described the Taliban takeover as an opportunity for the masses in “Europe and East Asia to break free from the shackles of American hegemony” but it made no explicit reference to the Uyghurs in Xinjiang in China.

China has been accused of committing crimes against humanity and possibly genocide against Uyghurs, a Turkic ethnic group, and other Muslim ethnic groups in the north-western region of Xinjiang including detaining some one million in “re-education camps”.

Last Wednesday, China held a meeting with the Taliban for the first time since they took over Kabul, though the relationship between the two appears to be contingent on the group’s ties with the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), an Uyghur militant group.


Also read: Beijing’s support for Taliban has created fissures on Chinese social media


‘American Empire of Evil’

In its statement, al Qaeda celebrated the defeat of America, which it referred to as the “American Empire of Evil”.

“We praise the Almighty, the Omnipotent, who humiliated and defeated America, the head of disbelief. We praise Him for breaking America’s back, tarnishing its global reputation and expelling it, disgraced and humiliated, from the Islamic land of Afghanistan,” it said.

It added that the US and its allies’ “debacle” will usher in a new era that will put an end to the “dark era of Western hegemony and military occupation of Islamic lands”.

Al Qaeda praises Jalaluddin Haqqani, Hibatullah Akhundzada

The group also named several key Taliban leaders, both past and present, for the Taliban’s victory in Afghanistan. These included Jalaluddin Haqqani, founder of the Haqqani Network network who died in 2018; Mullah Akhtar Mansour who was killed by a US drone strike in 2016 and the notorious one-eyed Mohammad Omar, founder of Taliban who served as the emir of Afghanistan between 1996–2001 before he died in 2013 for uncertain reasons.

“May Allah have mercy on the mentor of the Mujahideen, the father of martyrs, Shaykh Jalal ud Din al Haqqani!” said Al-Qaeda. It quoted Muhammad Umar who famously said: “Allah has promised us victory, and Bush has promised us defeat; we shall see which of the two promises shall be fulfilled!”

It also called on Allah to protect Taliban’s supreme leader Mawlawi Hibatullah Akhundzada.


Also read: India talks to Taliban leader Stanikzai for ‘early return’ of those stuck in Afghanistan


 

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