The Taliban won?
Asim Umar, a senior al Qaeda official, has released a lengthy statement praising the Taliban’s “victory” in Afghanistan. He claims that America’s “defeat” proves that its superior technology is no match for the jihadists’ faith, adding that America’s army no longer wants to fight.
Umar has served as the emir of Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), but it appears he may no longer hold that title. In another recent message, AQIS identified Usama Mahmood as its overall commander. Mahmood was previously the group’s spokesman and likely had other responsibilities within the group as well.
However, while Umar’s current position isn’t clear, he is obviously still a senior figure within al Qaeda. Umar’s new message, titled “And on that day the believers will rejoice,” was released by As Sahab earlier today to mark the occasion of Eid–ul–Fitr. As Sahab, which is the media arm for both al Qaeda’s senior leadership and AQIS, produced versions of Umar’s statement in Arabic, English and Urdu. The English-language transcript can be read here.
“May Allah make the victories of The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan a source of bringing back the honor and dignity of the Ummah,” Umar says at the beginning of his message. “We on behalf of the sub-continent …give congratulations for these victories to Amir-ul-Momineen, Sheikh Hibatullah Akhundzada, Sheikh Ayman al-Zawahiri and the leaders of the Mujahidin and the Mujahidin present in the fields of Jihad all-around the world.”