Taliban’s ‘Commander of the Devoted’ poised for giant position in Afghanistan

A former anti-Soviet fighter, al Qaeda ally, and proud father of a suicide bomber referred to as the “Commander of the Devoted” is poised to tackle a major position because the Taliban type their Afghan authorities .

Hibatullah Akhundzada is thought of  the “emir” of Afghanistan by the Taliban. He was a part of the anti-Soviet conflict within the Eighties, helped lead Afghanistan’s Sharia courts within the Nineties, and present al Qaeda chief Ayman Zawahiri reportedly swore allegiance to him because the “Emir of the Believers” in 2016.

Akhundzada took the reins in 2016 after Mullah Akhtar Mansour was killed by a U.S. drone strike. Mansour, in flip, had taken over the group following Mullah Mohammed Omar’s dying someday in 2013. Mansour reportedly named Akhundzada as his successor in his will, although it’s attainable this was only a Taliban effort to shore up assist for his management.

The Lengthy Struggle Journal famous that al Qaeda’s media arm, As Sahab, launched a press release this week lauding the Taliban’s victory and praising the Taliban’s three “emirs” because it was based — Omar, Mansour, and Akhundzada.

Al Qaeda stated , “On this historic event, we want to supply our congratulations to the management of the Islamic Emirate, particularly Haibatullah Akhundzada. Could Allah settle for your martyrs – the boys, girls, and kids who supplied sacrifices on this path!”


On Friday, the Taliban launched a movie that “celebrated the Taliban’s ‘martyrdom-seeking’ squadrons — that’s, the models answerable for conducting advanced suicide assaults.” The outlet stated the movie commemorated the Taliban victory over america and in addition blamed the U.S. for the assaults of 9/11, saying the terrorist plot was “the results of america’s coverage of aggression in opposition to the Muslim world.”

The video additionally reveals Taliban suicide models marching and parading round and ends with a message from Akhundzada, who says: “After withdrawal of all international forces from the nation, we would like good and powerful diplomatic, financial, and political relations with the remainder of the world, together with United States, inside the framework of mutual interplay and dedication, which is healthier for all sides.”

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Amanullah Samangani, a member of the Taliban’s cultural fee, stated this week that the group was finalizing its authorities, and there may be “little question concerning the presence of the Commander of the Devoted (Akhundzada) within the authorities. He would be the chief of the federal government, and there must be no query on this.”

Different senior figures prone to make up the brand new Afghan authorities embody Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar Akhund, Mullah Mohammad Yaqoob, and Sirajuddin Haqqani.

Baradar, the pinnacle of the Taliban’s political workplace in Doha, was freed from Pakistan in 2018 and is essentially the most distinguished of hundreds of Taliban prisoners freed at America’s request in its efforts to advertise failed peace talks between the Taliban and the Afghan authorities. A co-founder of the Taliban, he’s seen as another choice as the highest chief for the nation.

Yaqoob is the oldest son of Omar and is at present a deputy chief within the Taliban and serves as their army chief. He helped run  the Taliban’s large and profitable insurgency in opposition to the Afghan authorities.

Haqqani, the “deputy emir” of the Taliban, additionally “at present leads the day-to-day actions of the Haqqani Community,” in line with the State Division. Sirajuddin has been designated a terrorist by the U.S., and the State Division’s Reward for Justice program has supplied  $10 million for his arrest.

Yaqoob and Haqqani had been seen as attainable rivals to Akhundzada for the Taliban prime spot in 2016, however Akhundzada seems to have asserted his management since then.

Akhundzada was born in Kandahar in 1961, and throughout the Nineties, was reportedly tasked with preventing crime in a western Afghan province after the Taliban seized it. He was reportedly a part of the Taliban’s infamous “vice and advantage” police and in addition went on to be a instructor at Mullah Omar’s Jihadi Madrasa, which was attended by hundreds of scholars.

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He was promoted to the Taliban’s army court docket in Kandahar earlier than happening to guide the Taliban army court docket in an jap Afghan province. Finally, Akhundzada led the Taliban’s army court docket countrywide and was a key chief within the Taliban’s supreme court docket too.

After 9/11 and the U.S. invasion in late 2001, Akhundzada labored because the chief of the Taliban’s spiritual council and is well-known for issuing dozens of spiritual rulings, referred to as “fatwas.” A lot of the Taliban’s management was primarily based in Quetta, Pakistan, throughout the almost two-decade insurgency in opposition to the U.S. and its allies, and Akhundzada maintained shut ties there.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid talked about Akhundzada in late August, saying: “He’s current in Kandahar. He has been residing there from the very starting.” A deputy Taliban spokesman promised that Akhundzada “will quickly seem in public.”

The Taliban has repeatedly touted the truth that one among Akhundzada’s sons, 23-year-old Abdur Rahman, apparently died conducting a suicide automotive bombing assault in Helmand province in southern Afghanistan in July 2017, blowing himself up at an Afghan army base. A senior Taliban chief near Akhundzada reportedly stated on the time, “Earlier than this, various shut family members and relations of earlier supreme leaders had carried out suicide bombings, however Sheikh Haibatullah has turn out to be the primary supreme chief whose son sacrificed his life.”

Sediq Sediqqi, then the director of the Afghan authorities’s info middle, claimed on the time that the Taliban have been mendacity, saying: “They lied — it’s a part of propaganda. The Taliban leaders and their households live in luxurious in Pakistan and Qatar, and so they incite others to kill Afghans within the title of jihad.”

Akhundzada reportedly stated in June 2019 that the Taliban’s “rightful jihad and resistance in opposition to the occupation is nearing the stage of success.” He stated in August 2018 that “the smug American generals have been compelled to bow to the [Jihadi] greatness of the Afghan nation.”

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