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Special Dispatch Afghanistan/Jihad & Terrorism
February 23, 2007
Taliban Recruiting Hundreds of Suicide Bombers for Major Attack on NATO Forces in the Spring: Al-Jazeera Reports
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The following are excerpts from Al-Jazeera TV reports on Taliban
military plans. The reports were aired on February 21 and 22, 2007.
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Reporter: “The fighters of the Afghan Taliban movement are in a real race against time. The spring offensive ñ for which the movement is preparing by means of training, surveillance, and reconnaissance, and with which the NATO forces threatened [the Taliban] ñ is imminent, according to the movement’s leaders. This is a diligent movement, which operates at night more than by day, away from any surveillance or reconnaissance. The movement’s leaders said that the attack would include all of Afghanistan, but that it would focus on the south, in order to take control of entire cities.”
Mullah Dadallah (translated into Arabic): “There are 6,000 Taliban mujahideen ready to fight in the spring campaign, and the number will rise to 10,000. The greater the number of Jewish and Christian forces fighting us, the more this will encourage the people to join us.”
Reporter: “The Taliban says it has obtained a new anti-aircraft weapon, but it did not go into details. As proof, it presented Al-Jazeera with footage showing what they say is a U.S. military helicopter burning after being downed, in Kandahar about two months ago.”
Reporter: “In a noteworthy development, the Afghan Taliban movement presented what it called its ‘new weapon,’ which will confront NATO’s lethal weapons. This is the weapon of suicide operations. Taliban military commander [Mullah] Dadallah used this gathering to recruit over 500 suicide bombers for the coming spring campaign, which he promised would be bloody. He stressed that the Taliban is capable of
multiplying their numbers.”
Mullah Dadallah (translated into Arabic): “Praise be to Allah, who gave us this great power of self-sacrifice, among Arabs and non-Arabs. Our preparations for the war in the field of self-sacrifice activities are not enough by themselves. These operations are not sufficient to defeat them. The weapon of devotion is still the most important. In addition, we must remember our martyrs and their blood, which they sacrificed for a greater cause.”
Reporter: “One of the suicide bombers summed up for Al-Jazeera the reasons for carrying out this act. He denied that poverty or depression, or any other of the reasons given by commentators, had led to his decision.”
Suicide bomber (translated into Arabic): “I understand what a self-sacrifice operation means. I am an educated student from a well-off family. I have no mental problems or anything like that. I could complete my studies and become a doctor.”
Reporter: “The suicide operations that the movement is preparing for include the use of car bombs and motorcycle bombs, as well as the explosive belts worn by suicide bombers. All the movement’s leaders and fighters whom we met emphasized that this year will be the decisive one in favor of the Taliban. One of them proudly told us that Afghanistan is the graveyard of the empires ñ from the Mongols and the British to the Russians ñ and that now, NATO’s turn has come.”
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