‘Squabbling’ between Al-Qa’ida and Taliban sympathisers on internet forums

Internet criticisms of the Taliban [have] follow[ed] a February statement from Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar announcing that his movement wants to maintain positive and “legitimate” relations with countries neighboring Afghanistan.Mullah Omar, who heads a Taliban leadership council that was purportedly formed in 2003, also has said that the Taliban is exploring the possibility of holding peace negotiations with Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s government.

“We want to have legitimate relations with all countries of the world,” Mullah Omar’s statement said. “We are not a threat to anyone. America believes that the Taliban is a threat to the whole world. And with this propaganda, America wants to use all other countries to advance their own interests.”

Pro-Al-Qaeda bloggers who were angered by Mullah Omar’s statement were further outraged in early March when the Taliban expressed solidarity with Iran by condemning the latest round of sanctions imposed on Tehran by the UN Security Council over its nuclear activities.


[S]ome of the harshest remarks about the Taliban leadership have come from writers who are labeled as among the most influential on the website.

One of those bloggers — who calls himself “Miskeen” or “The Wretched” — responded to the Taliban declaration on Iran by writing: “This is the worst statement I have ever read…. [T]he disaster of defending the [Iranian] regime is on par with the Crusaders in Afghanistan and Iraq.”

“Miskeen” also wrote that a “nationalist trend” appears to be penetrating the Taliban. Other pro Al-Qaeda bloggers have called for Al-Qaeda leaders Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahri to censure the Taliban over their recent statements.

But the Taliban’s former ambassador to Pakistan — Mullah Salam Zaief — tells RFE/RL’s Radio Free Afghanistan that the bloggers have no understanding of the topic.

“Somebody who is speaking from Egypt really doesn’t have knowledge of the exact situation on the ground in Afghanistan,” Zaief says. “He doesn’t even convey the policies of the whole organization [of Al-Qaeda].”

“The conflict in Afghanistan doesn’t mean [the Taliban] has to confront the world,” Zaief continues. “Afghans are very tired of war. They want their homeland. They want peace in their country. They want independence. Whether they are Taliban or other Afghans, I don’t think either wants to confront the entire international community. The Taliban doesn’t want to rule the world.”



2 Responses to “‘Squabbling’ between Al-Qa’ida and Taliban sympathisers on internet forums”

  1. 1 Baba March 13, 2008 at 8:42 pm

    For better or worse Taliban does not equal Al Qaeda (not to defend either of the close minded wankers). It’s such a complex story that isn’t being told anywhere near properly in major media. Alas.

  2. 2 thabet March 14, 2008 at 11:45 am

    Yes, I agree there is difference between Al-Q and the Taliban. We can only hope our political and military masters know the difference.

    Otoh, this could also be a piece of psyops.

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