The Taliban claimed they lured with “prizes” hundreds of people who had been working for the Afghan government in some capacity to join their jihadist ranks.
The Afghan terror group’s Preaching, Guidance and Recruitment Commission issued a report today claiming that during September “820 personnel working in various posts in the Kabul-based administration” defected and “brought in various type weaponry, communication radios and other military equipment with them.”
“The countrymen who joined the Mujahideen vowed to break all ties with the foreign and internal enemies of Islam and country and strengthen our people and Mujahideen in order to cleanse the country from occupation and corruption and establish a pure Islamic government acceptable to all Afghans,” the Taliban stated, adding officials “welcomed them, gave them gifts and prizes and considered their move a beneficial step for Afghanistan.”
The Taliban declared Monday that Oct. 20 parliamentary elections are “bogus”; a suicide bomber today killed candidate Saleh Mohammad Achekzai and several of his bodyguards at his home in Lashkar Gah, capital of Taliban-dominated Helmand province.
As is typical of the Taliban, they tried to bully voters away from the polls “for the sake of protecting the broader national interests and for the prevention of this significant and decisive process being used for the malicious objectives of foreign occupiers.”
They declared that candidates of all parties supported Americans “in killing the pious Muslims and destroying the country by extending the ongoing war — therefore you should refrain from participating in this process due to your Afghan identity and perception.”
And, with their appeals for voluntary non-participation usually ignored, the Taliban ordered “all its Mujahidin to halt this American led process throughout the country by creating severe obstacles for it.”
“Those people who are trying to help in holding this process successfully by providing security should be targeted and no stone should be left unturned for the prevention and failure of this malicious American conspiracy,” the Taliban decree added.
U.S. special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, a former UN ambassador in the Bush administration, was in Kabul on Monday in an effort to broker a deal with the Taliban.
“His mission there is to coordinate our U.S. efforts to bring the Taliban to the negotiating table,” State Department press secretary Heather Nauert told reporters today. “This is still Afghan-led, Afghan-owned. Our policy has not changed in any way, but we’re proud and pleased to have him out there advocating on this behalf and we’ll be working in close coordination with the Afghan government.”