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Afghanistan disaster: Taliban history of bloodshed and jihad jars with claims of more tolerant regime

The Taliban could also be making an attempt to persuade the world this shall be a far more tolerant regime than final seen in 2001, however the leaders who will take over Afghanistan stay a gaggle of veteran jihadists with a blood-stained history.

Many founders of the unique Taliban are nonetheless in management positions immediately because the militants take management of Afghanistan, whereas others are the sons of founders who’ve since died or had been killed in motion.

After the deaths of former chief Mohammed Omar and his successor Akhtar Mohammad Mansour in lower than 12 months, the management is held by Haibatullah Akhundzada. Dubbed ‘Leader of the Faithful’, the Taliban’s Supreme Commander who has the ultimate phrase on its political, spiritual and army coverage.

Despite being the now-obvious selection, there’s hypothesis that Akhundzada might not turn into the front-facing chief of the brand new Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan – the complete title of Afghanistan beneath the brand new Taliban rule.

Under Akhundzada sits three deputies. In addition to Mullah Yaqoob, there’s Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar and Sirajuddin Haqqani, with the three being described be one Western official as ‘the just-about-OK, the unhealthy and the very, very ugly’.

Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar – who arrived again in Afghanistan immediately after 20 years in exile – is maybe probably the most well-known and senior. He was the co-founder of the Taliban along-side Mullah Omar – who bestowed the title ‘brother’ upon him as an indication of affection. Some have instructed he might take up a prime-ministerial function beneath the brand new regime. 

Sirajuddin Haqqani heads up his late-father’s group – the Haqqani Network – a US-designated terror cell answerable for a quantity of brutal killing all through Afghanistan, together with a bombing that killed seven youngsters.

After a meteoric rise to energy following his father’s loss of life, Mullah Yaqoob heads up the Taliban’s army, and was doubtless answerable for the latest incursion that has seen Afghanistan fall beneath the group’s management as soon as more.

In addition to the deputy leaders, there are different senior figures among the many Taliban who had been key in negotiations with the Afghan authorities and overseas international locations as they tried to discover a approach again into energy.

Now, after assuming management of the nation, it’s not instantly clear what the management structure will appear to be. Below, we have a look at the senior Taliban figures prone to be vying for energy within the weeks and months to return.

Supreme Commander Haibatullah Akhundzada, future Emir of Afghanistan and ‘Leader of the Faithful,’ the Taliban’s Islamic figurehead – Became chief in 2016 forward of different senior figures after predecessor was killed in a U.S. drone strike

Akhundzada became head of the Taliban's council of religious scholars after the US invasion and is believed to be the author of many of its fatwas (Islamic legal rulings)

Akhundzada turned head of the Taliban’s council of spiritual students after the US invasion and is believed to be the creator of many of its fatwas (Islamic authorized rulings)

  • Age: 60 years outdated
  • Rank: Supreme Commander
  • Joined: 1994 

Haibatullah Akhundzada, the ‘Leader of the Faithful,’ is the Taliban’s Supreme Commander with the ultimate phrase on its political, spiritual and army coverage.

Akhundzada is predicted to take the title of Emir of Afghanistan beneath the brand new Taliban regime.

Believed to be round 60 years outdated, he’s not identified for his army technique however is revered as an Islamic scholar and guidelines the Taliban by that proper. 

He took over in 2016 when the group’s former chief, Akhtar Mansour, was killed in a US drone strike on the Pakistani border.

After being appointed as a shock chief, Akhundzada secured a pledge of loyalty from Al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri, who showered the spiritual scholar with reward – calling him ‘the emir of the devoted’.

This helped to seal his jihadi credentials with the group’s long-time allies, after securing the title in favour of different more senior figures.

Akhundzada was tasked with the big problem of unifying a militant motion that briefly fractured throughout a bitter energy wrestle following the assassination of his predecessor, and the revelation that the management had hid the loss of life of Taliban founder Mullah Omar for years.

The chief’s public profile has been largely restricted to the discharge of annual messages throughout Islamic holidays.  

Akhundzada was born round 1959 to a spiritual scholar within the Panjwayi district of Kandahar Province.

His household had been pressured to flee their house in the course of the Soviet invasion and he joined the resistance as a younger man.

He was one of the primary new Taliban recruits within the Nineteen Nineties and instantly impressed his superiors with his data of Islamic regulation.

When the Taliban captured Afghanistan’s western Farah province, he was put in cost of preventing crime within the space.

As the Taliban seized more of the nation, Akhunzad turned head of the army court docket and deputy chief of its supreme court docket. 

After the US invasion in 2001 he turned head of the Taliban’s council of spiritual students and is believed to be the creator of many of its fatwas (Islamic authorized rulings), together with public executions of assassin and adulterers and reducing the palms off thieves. 

Two makes an attempt have been made to assassinate Akhundzada, one in 2012 and one other in 2019. Afghan intelligence company took accountability for the primary, whereas the second – which killed a quantity of Akhundzada’s household together with his father and brother – was claimed by the High Council of Afghanistan Islamic Emirate.

Before being named the brand new chief he had been preaching and educating for round 15 years at a mosque in Kuchlak, a city in southwestern Pakistan, sources advised Reuters. 

Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, co-founder and head of the political office of the Taliban – Held for eight years in Pakistani jail earlier than being launched on orders from the U.S. authorities 

Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, one of the co-founders of the Taliban and its deputy-leader, pictured on August 16 after the fall of Kabul, Afghanistan

Pictured: Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, co-founder and deputy chief of the Taliban, makes a video assertion on August 16 following the autumn of Kabul

  • Age: 53 years outdated
  • Rank: Co-founder, head of political office
  • Joined: 1994

Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, one of the co-founders of the Taliban, was free of jail in Pakistan three years in the past on the request of the U.S. authorities.  

Just 9 months in the past, he posed for footage with Donald Trump’s Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to signal a peace deal in Doha which immediately lies in tatters.

On Sunday, his forces seized Kabul and he’s now tipped to turn into Afghanistan’s subsequent chief in a reversal of fortune which humiliates Washington.

While Haibatullah Akhundzada is the Taliban’s total chief, Baradar is head of its political office and one of probably the most recognisable faces of the chiefs who’ve been concerned in peace talks in Qatar.

His title Baradar means ‘brother’, a title which was conferred by Taliban founder Mullah Omar himself as a mark of affection.

The 53-year-old was deputy chief beneath ex-chief Mullah Mohammed Omar, whose assist for Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden led to the US-led invasion of Afghanistan after 9/11. 

Baradar arrived in Kandahar Province on Tuesday, touchdown within the rebel group’s former capital simply days after they took management of the nation.

A Taliban spokesman stated on Twitter that Baradar and a excessive stage delegation ‘reached their beloved nation within the afternoon’ from Qatar. 

Born in Uruzgan province in 1968, Baradar was raised in Kandahar, the birthplace of the Taliban motion. He fought with the mujahideen in opposition to the Soviets within the Eighties till they had been pushed out in 1989.

Afterwards, Afghanistan was gripped by a blood civil warfare between rival warlords and Baradar arrange an Islamic faculty in Kandahar with his former commander Mohammed Omar.

The two mullahs helped to discovered the Taliban motion, an ideology which embraced hardline orthodoxy and strived for the creation of an Islamic Emirate. 

Fuelled by zealotry, hatred of grasping warlords and with monetary backing from Pakistan’s secret companies, the Taliban seized energy in 1996 after conquering provincial capitals earlier than marching on Kabul, simply as they’ve in latest months.

Baradar had a quantity of totally different roles in the course of the Taliban’s five-year reign and was the deputy defence minister when the US invaded in 2001.  

He went into hiding however remained lively within the Taliban’s management in exile.

In September 2020, Baradar was pictured with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who 'urged the Taliban to seize this opportunity to forge a political settlement and reach a comprehensive and permanent ceasefire,' the US said in a statement

In September 2020, Baradar was pictured with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who ‘urged the Taliban to grab this chance to forge a political settlement and attain a complete and everlasting ceasefire,’ the US stated in a press release

In 2010, the CIA tracked him right down to the Pakistani metropolis of Karachi and in February of that year the Pakistani intelligence service (ISI) arrested him.

But in 2018, he was launched on the request of the Trump administration as half of their ongoing negotiations with the Taliban in Qatar, on the understanding that he may assist dealer peace. 

In February 2020, Baradar signed the Doha Agreement wherein the U.S. pledged to go away Afghanistan on the idea that the Taliban would enter right into a power-sharing association with President Ashraf Ghani’s authorities in Kabul.

He was pictured in September with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who ‘urged the Taliban to grab this chance to forge a political settlement and attain a complete and everlasting ceasefire,’ the US stated in a press release.

Pompeo ‘welcomed Afghan management and possession of the trouble to finish 40 years of warfare and make sure that Afghanistan shouldn’t be a menace to the United States or its allies.’

The Doha deal was heralded as a momentous peace declaration however has been proved to be nothing however a ploy by the Taliban.

The jihadists waited till 1000’s of American troops had left earlier than launching a serious offensive to recapture the nation, undoing 20 years of work by the US-led coalition.

Sirajuddin Haqqani, the son of the famed commander from the anti-Soviet jihad – Head terror group that has admitted to plotting a quantity of assaults, together with a suicide bombing that killed seven youngsters in a close-by faculty

Sirajuddin Haqqani

Sirajuddin Haqqani

  • Age: Mid-forties
  • Joined: 2000s
  • Rank: Deputy chief, head of Haqqani community

Sirajuddin doubles as each the deputy chief of the Taliban motion whereas additionally heading the highly effective Haqqani community.

The Haqqani Network is a US-designated terror group that has lengthy been considered as one of probably the most harmful factions preventing Afghan and US-led NATO forces in Afghanistan in the course of the previous 20 years.

His father, Jalaluddin Haqqani, was the founder of the highly effective drive of fighters spanning the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, who’re seen as a Pakistan-based Taliban.

The group is notorious for its use of suicide bombers and is believed to have orchestrated some of probably the most high-profile assaults in Kabul through the years.

Haqqani himself admitted to planning a 2008 assault on the Serena Hotel in Kabul that killed six individuals. The victims included American citizen Thor David Hesla.

An FBI wanted poster for Sirajuddin Haqqani, the son of the famed commander from the anti-Soviet jihad

An FBI wished poster for Sirajuddin Haqqani, the son of the famed commander from the anti-Soviet jihad

He additionally confessed that he directed the planning by his community of an assassination try on former president of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai in April 2008. 

Later that very same year, he was accused by coalition forces of finishing up a December bombing at an Afghan barracks close to an elementary faculty that killed a number of faculty youngsters, an Afghan soldier and an Afghan guard. 

In November 2008, it was reported by the New York Times that reporter David S. Rohde was kidnapped within the nation, and Haqqani is reported to have been the journalist’s final captor earlier than he escaped.

The community has additionally been accused of assassinating prime Afghan officers and holding kidnapped Western residents for ransom – together with US soldier Bowe Bergdahl, launched in 2014. 

Known for his or her independence, preventing acumen, and savvy business dealings, the Haqqanis are believed to supervise operations within the rugged mountains of japanese Afghanistan, whereas holding appreciable sway over the Taliban’s management council.

Haqqani himself was the goal of a reported U.S. drone strike in 2010, however he was not current within the space that was focused. 

Mullah Yaqoob, army chief of the Taliban – Is the son of the Taliban’s authentic founder Mullah Mohammed Omar who died in 2013 of Tuberculosis 

Mullah Yaqoob

Mullah Yaqoob

  • Age: 31 years outdated
  • Joined: Unknown
  • Rank: Second deputy, Taliban army chief

The son of the Taliban’s founder Mullah Omar, Mullah Yaqoob heads the group’s highly effective army fee, which oversees an unlimited community of area commanders charged with executing the insurgency’s strategic operations within the warfare. He is seen as being half of the Taliban’s more reasonable camp, alongside with Baradar.

Believed to be in his 30s, his lineage and ties to his father – who loved a cult-like standing because the Taliban’s chief earlier than his loss of life – serves as a potent image and makes him a unifying determine over the sprawling motion.

However, hypothesis stays rife about Yaqoob’s precise function throughout the motion, with some analysts arguing that his appointment to the function in 2020 was merely beauty.

He was nearly unknown till 5 years in the past, when the mysterious loss of life of his father was announce two years after he died of Tuberculosis. In his first ever public tackle on the time, Yacoob – who’s presumed to have been in his twenties on the time – known as for unity inside the Sunni extremist group.

Since his audio message unfold via the ranks of the Taliban, he’s understood to have risen the ranks shortly throughout the group, and has consolidated energy since his failed bid to succeed his father. He first turned deputy chief earlier than – more just lately – changing into army chief. 

Outsiders believed that Yaqoob was a supporter of the peace course of between the Taliban and the Afghan authorities, that resulted within the deal being signed by the Taliban and the United States beneath Donald Trump, geared toward withdrawing overseas troops from the nation.

However, others have instructed that the choice of an inexperienced chief may trace at divisions throughout the Taliban, which has undergone a quantity of bitter transitions.

Under Yaqoob’s management, the Taliban army seems to have upheld its settlement to not assault U.S forces, however the militants have did not fulfil a pledge to resign the Al-Qaeda terrorist community behind the 9/11 assaults. 

Now, having efficiently taken management of the Afghanistan with the Taliban army, Yaqoob’s future ambitions for management may nicely have been strengthened within the final weeks.

For a quick spell in 2020, Yaqoob was stated to be main the entire of the Taliban after Akhundzada fell unwell with Covid-19 in the course of the coronavirus pandemic.

Abdul Hakim Haqqani, Senior decide and head of Taliban’s negotiating staff – Graduated from the Darul Uloom Haqqania, the so-called college of jihad

Abdul Hakim Haqqani

Abdul Hakim Haqqani

  • Age: 54 years outdated
  • Joined: 1994
  • Rank: Chief justice, chief negotiator

The head of the Taliban’s negotiating staff, Abdul Hakim Haqqani is believed to be one of the individuals throughout the group that Haibatullah Akhundzada trusts most.

As the Taliban’s former shadow chief justice, he heads its highly effective council of spiritual students.

Like many of the highest Taliban, he spent years hiding in Pakistan following the group’s 2001 defeat to the U.S.-led invasion, however has now returned to the highlight after he was appointed because the Taliban’s chief negotiator with Afghanistan’s authorities in Kabul – that had been held in Qatar.

As head cleric, he till just lately ran an Islamic madrasah, or seminary, within the Ishaqabad space of Quetta. From there, he led the Taliban’s judiciary and a strong council of Taliban clerics that issued spiritual edicts that labored to justify the group’s brutal insurgency of the nation.

His announcement as head of the negotiating staff was half of a shake-up of the Taliban’s 21-member staff forward of the opening of peace talks, with the group providing no rationalization for the adjustments, or Abdul Hakim’s appointment. Sources have instructed it was modified to offer it energy to make on-the-spot selections.

Abdul Hakim Haqqani is believed of extremely among the many Taliban, notably for his spiritual credentials but additionally for his birthplace. He was born within the Panjwai district within the southern Afghan province of Kandahar, thought-about to be the Taliban’s religious house.

He graduated from the Darul Uloom Haqqania Islamic seminary in northwest Pakistan, identified for preaching a a fundamentalist model of Islam and education a technology of fighters for the Afghan Taliban.

The so-called college of jihad has taught some of probably the most infamous members of the Taliban and different terrorist teams, together with founder Mullah Mohammad Omar and and Jalaluddin Haqqani, the previous chief of the Pakistani-based Haqqani community.  

Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai, head of the Taliban’s Doha office – tried to steer Clinton administration to offer diplomatic recognition to Taliban in 1996

Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai

Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai

  • Age: 58 years outdated
  • Joined: 1994
  • Rank: Head of the Taliban’s Doha office

Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai is at the moment the pinnacle of the Taliban’s political office in Doha, and was the previous deputy minister of the group earlier than its removing in 2001 when the U.S. invaded the nation.

Born in 1963 in Logar Province, he gained a grasp’s diploma in political science earlier than finding out at an Indian Military Academy, which on the time within the Nineteen Seventies contain coaching Afghan military officers.

He went on to struggle within the Soviet-Afghan War, first beneath Mohammad Nabi Mohammadi’s Islamic and National Revolution Movement of Afghanistan, then with Abdul Rasul Sayyaf’s Islamic Union for the Liberation of Afghanistan. He was commander of the latter’s south-western entrance.

Between 1996-2001 – in the course of the Taliban’s rule of Afghanistan – he served as deputy minister of overseas affairs beneath overseas minister Wakil Ahmed Muttawakil and later deputy minister of well being. While he was reportedly not trusted by his then-boss, he usually gave interviews to overseas media, and speaks English. 

In 1996, Stanikzai travelled to Washington D.C. as performing overseas minister in an try and ask the Clinton administration to request that Taliban-ruled Afghanistan be prolonged diplomatic recognition.

In 2012 – over a decade after the invasion of Afghanistan by U.S. forces following 9/11 – Stanikzai arrived in Qatar to facilitate the opening of the Taliban’s political office within the nation, and in 2015 he was appointed as performing head of the office in Qatar.

Once appointed, he pledged his allegiance to Akhtar Mansour – who led the Taliban between 2015 and 2016, saying ‘I and different members of the Political Office of the Islamic Emirate declare allegiance to the honorable Mullah Akhtar Mansoor.’ His position as head of the office was confirmed later in 2016.

In July 2016, he traveled to China for talks with Chinese officers, and in 2017 he was denied entry to the UAE. In 2018 he led a delegation to Uzbekistan, earlier than later travelling to Indonesia.

Amir Khan Muttaqi, Taliban senior chief – Believed to at the moment be in Kabul negotiating with town’s political management

Amir Khan Muttaqi

Amir Khan Muttaqi

  • Age: 51 years outdated
  • Joined: Unknown
  • Rank: Senior chief, negotiator 

Senior Taliban chief Amir Khan Muttaqi – who’s at the moment stated to be within the Afghan capital negotiating with Kabul’s political management – is an Afghan Taliban senior chief, politician and member of the negotiation staff in Qatar.

The senior management reported consists of Abdullah Abdullah, who as soon as headed the nation’s negotiating council, and former President Hamid Karzai.

That is based on an official acquainted with the talks and who spoke on situation of anonymity as a result of he’s not licensed to talk to the media.

Muttaqi was the next training minister when the Taliban final dominated and he started making contacts with Afghan political leaders even earlier than Afghan President Ashraf Ghani secretly slipped away from the Presidential Palace on the weekend, leaving a devastating vacuum that Taliban who had been surrounding town strode in to fill.

Muttaqi served as Minister of Information and Culture and consultant of the Taliban authorities in talks led by the United Nations.

He was initially half of Maulvi Mohammad Nabi Mohammadi’s group in the course of the Afghan jihad however later joined the Taliban motion when it emerged, and dominated in 1996.

The official says the talks underway within the Afghan capital are geared toward bringing different non-Taliban leaders into the federal government that Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen has stated shall be an ‘inclusive Afghan authorities.’

There is little indication concerning the substance of the talks, however Shaheen earlier advised The Associated Press {that a} authorities shall be introduced after negotiations with non-Taliban leaders are accomplished.

Afghans acquainted with the talks say some rounds have gone late into the night time and have been underway since quickly after Ghani’s departure.

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