The Taliban issued another appeal to President-elect Donald Trump to pull remaining U.S. forces out of Afghanistan or face the consequences of “an incurable wound for you.”
The terror group was the first to officially react to Trump’s victory last month, and has been needling the incoming administration ever since with bombings and threats.
“He should withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan, and unlike other former U.S. rulers, he should neither seek any more titles of ignominy for his self and American generals, nor worsen the American prestige, economy and military by engaging in this futile war,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement the day after the election.
In a new “weekly comment” posted on the Taliban’s English-language website, the terror group stresses that “after one and a half decade, notwithstanding the atrocities and invasion of the invaders, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan has not been defeated.”
“Our message to the president-elect of the United States is that, had it been possible to resolve the issue of Afghanistan through the use of force, wealth and nasty conspiracies then it could have been solved a long time ago. Use of force and wicked conspiracies will only prolong and complicate this issue. Afghans are not terrorists nor do they have a policy to attack civilian targets in other counties. The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan is a national and Islamic force. All true, faithful and freedom-loving sons of Afghanistan have come together in this entity and want to obtain independence of Afghanistan and establish an all Afghan-inclusive Islamic system in the country,” the statement continued.
“We would like to urge the newly-elected president not to repeat mistakes of the former presidents. Put an end to this meaningless war by pulling out your troops from our beloved country. The best way out is to withdraw your troops from Afghanistan. This is the home of the Afghans. Leave it to the Afghans and do not permit that this war turn into an incurable wound for you.”
In reality, most Afghans don’t want the Taliban back in power and the group has been working hand-in-hand with other international terrorist organizations. The al-Qaeda alliance is longstanding — and they have been giving the Taliban more training and guidance this year — but the Taliban also called a truce with ISIS this year to focus on the common enemy.
A poll of Afghans last year found that 92 percent supported the current government with just 4 percent preferring the Taliban. Fifty-three percent blamed the Taliban for violence, while just 12 percent blamed the United States.
The Taliban have underscored their demands with more acts of violence against western interests.
Two days after Election Day, a suicide bomber hit the exterior of the German consulate in Mazar-e-Sharif in what the Taliban said was a revenge attack on the United States.
The U.S. Embassy in Kabul then warned U.S. citizens about “a possible pending attack targeting foreigners at the Serena Hotel and a guest house located in PD-10 Kabul City” that could “be carried out by multiple suicide bombers at each location.” The luxury Serena Hotel has previously been attacked by the Taliban, including a 2014 mass shooting at the hotel’s restaurant.
And then four days after the election, four Americans were killed in a suicide bombing at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan that the Taliban said they had been planning for four months.
Gen. John Nicholson, commander of the Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan, told reporters last week that the bomber was “a local national contractor.”
“Right off the bat, as soon as that incident occurred, we undertook a complete review of our force protection measures around the country, especially in terms of local national contract employees,” Nicholson said. “…So, we are re-vetting and rescreening all those individuals before they are able to resume their positions, and reviewing all of our procedures. So, there’s nothing more important to us than force protection.”