Reported By C. Douglas Golden | January 11, 2022
Remember how, after the fall of Kabul, we were promised Taliban 2.0? It was going to be a softer, gentler theocracy — one which was going to include a multitude of voices in government and which definitely wouldn’t be embracing terrorism like it did during its first tenure running the country of Afghanistan.
Yes, well, about that: A report states the group, currently the de facto government of Afghanistan, has now threatened to send 2,000 suicide bombers to Washington, D.C. And yet, there’s nary a peep out of President Joe Biden’s administration.
It’s not that we couldn’t have seen this coming. Since the Biden administration’s capitulation in Afghanistan this summer, the Taliban has made it clear through their actions they’re still the same extremists they were when we chased them from power. The Western Journal has been bringing readers the truth about just how bad the situation in Afghanistan is — and why the president is directly responsible. You can help us bring America the facts by subscribing today.
The suicide-bombing threat was first reported by the Middle East Media Research Institute, or MEMRI, a watchdog which keeps an eye on communications from extremist groups and media sources.
According to a December report, during ongoing talks in Doha, Qatar — where the Taliban government seeks international recognition — Maulvi Mohammad Yaqoob Mujahid, Afghanistan’s acting defense minister, said that if America wanted troops in Afghanistan to reopen its embassy there, the Taliban wanted an equivalent number of terrorists in our capital.
“If America wants 2,000 English [i.e., American] troops at its embassy in Afghanistan, we also want 2,000 Fidayeen Mujahideen [i.e., suicide bombers] from the Fateh Force at the embassy of Afghanistan in America,” a Dec. 11 tweet from Yaqoob read.
MEMRI noted that “Fidayeen” is another term used by jihadi groups for their suicide bombers.
“‘Fateh Force,’ or ‘victorious force,’ is a ‘martyrdom force’ within the Badri 313 unit of the Islamic Emirate,” the group reported. “Badri 313 is named after the Ghazwa-e-Badr, the first Islamic battle led by Islam’s founder Muhammad in which 313 Muslims defeated thousands of non-Muslim tribesmen.”
It’s not like we couldn’t have seen this coming, either. Yaqoob is the son of Mullah Mohammad Omar Mujahid, the deceased co-founder and spiritual leader of the Taliban. When the acting defense minister of Taliban 2.0 is from the family line of the extremist originator of Taliban 1.0, you can bet it’s not exactly an upgrade.
The threat isn’t an idle one, either. Last week, MEMRI reported that Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told a Pashtu-language radio station the Taliban is readying units of suicide attackers.
“Our mujahideen in the Ishtishhadi Kandaks [martyrdom-seeking battalions] will be part of the army and [they] will be Special Forces and organized under the defense ministry,” Mujahid said.
“The Special Forces will be established in a specific number and used for special operations.”
One assumes that no matter where the talks between the U.S. and Taliban envoys in Doha go, there won’t be an agreement by which we’re allowed 2,000 troops to open our embassy in Kabul if 2,000 members of the Ishtishhadi Kandaks are stationed in the District of Columbia. However, Yaqoob’s tweet came during the latest round of talks in Doha — and, if the threat was made as reported, it wasn’t anything that fazed the Biden administration.
In October, the Biden administration agreed to send humanitarian aid to Afghanistan after talks in Qatar but refused to recognize the government there. Furthermore, The Associated Press reported the U.S. delegation “made it clear that the talks were in no way a preamble to recognition of the Taliban, who swept into power Aug. 15 after the U.S.-allied government collapsed.”
The Taliban said those talks “went well.” State Department spokesman Ned Price, meanwhile, said they were “candid and professional” and gave the same line the Biden administration has been giving since the beginning: The Taliban’s actions, not its words, would determine how things went going forward.
During a further round of talks in November, Voice of America reported, the Taliban pressed the United States to end sanctions and unfreeze assets as remedies to the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.
Taliban Foreign Ministry spokesman Abdul Qahar Balkhi tweeted that their side “urged immediate unconditional unfreezing of Afghan reserves, ending of sanctions & blacklists, & disconnecting humanitarian issues from political considerations … Overall the sessions were positive and both sides agreed to continue such meetings moving forward.”
Price, meanwhile, said our side “remains committed to ensuring that U.S. sanctions do not limit the ability of Afghan civilians to receive humanitarian support from the U.S. government and international community while denying assets to sanctioned entities and individuals.”
However, to the extent Afghanistan is in a dire humanitarian state, the Taliban are the authors of that mess and bear the brunt of the responsibility for the devastation. Even if they won’t accept it publicly, they need to negotiate that way if they expect aid from Western powers. Instead, we see credible reports Taliban 2.0 is the same as Taliban 1.0, threatening the United States with a wave of suicide attackers and promising to spend some of the country’s meager resources on establishing a suicide-attacker unit within its army.
It’s difficult to imagine any other president — in particular, former President Donald Trump — letting this go unanswered. Just like during the fall of Kabul, however, the Biden administration seems unconcerned with the ugly optics or grim realities their policies have created in Afghanistan.
C. Douglas Golden, Contributor,
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he’s written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.@CillianZealFacebook