The Arabic satellite channel, al-Jazeera, conducted an interview with Mullah Dadallah, the military commander of the Taliban in Afghanistan, last Monday, February 13, 2006, in which he touched upon many topics including the Taliban?s relationship with Usama bin Laden, Mullah Omar, and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi; the group?s evolving strategy that seemingly mirrors Iraqi insurgency group operations and suicide bombings; funding sources and mujahideen recruitment; and the current state of the Karzai administration in Afghanistan. The interview runs approximately twenty-three minutes.
Mullah Dadallah responds frankly to most of the interrogatory and only skirts that which may compromise the Taliban?s strategy. When questioned about the seeming concentration of the Taliban?s power in southern Afghanistan, the commander responds that they control a far greater expanse, though the media reports differently. To several questions, Dadallah answers in this regard of fabrications by media outlets and American officials that seek to dampen the Taliban?s alleged progress and strength. Further, he avers that the Taliban?s operations do not intentionally target civilians, unlike those executed by the Afghani government. Dadallah states: ?officials sacrificed some of their people in order to tarnish the picture of the Mujahideen and Taliban.
Also, in responding to how the Taliban prisoners were freed from Pol-e-Charkhi prison, Mullah Dadallah explains that the Taliban wishes to be enjoined by people ?from inside the government and keep them away from the infidels,? and the plan to release the prisoners was part of collaborations with these insiders. In addition, touching upon the jihad in Iraq, Dadallah argues that the jihad is not limited to one particular region or state, and that: ?THe problem with Iraq is a problem of all Muslims. We are not fighting here for Afghanistan, but we are fighting for all Muslims everywhere and also the Mujahideen in Iraq. The infidels attacked Muslim lands and it is a must that every Muslim should support his Muslim brothers. And if they withdraw from Afghanistan we will still fight them.? He also responds in the positive when asked by the interviewer if he seeks a political leadership between Afghanistan and Iraq.
Addressing Pakistan, Mullah Dadallah answers that Pakistan did hand over a substantial number of Taliban members to America and the Afghani government, and ?is doing something that doesn?t go along with the Shari?a?. He urges Pakistan to cease inflicting ?hurt? on the Muslims and support them, and support the Taliban.
A transcript of the video is provided to our Intel Service members.