Publication: Terrorism Focus Volume: 5 Issue: 25


Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, a veteran Afghan rebel and leader of the Hezb-i-Islami Party, has issued a statement asking members of the Pakistani Taliban to refrain from crossing the border to join the jihad in Afghanistan. The statement was issued by fax on June 24 (Afghan Islamic Press, June 25).

While thanking the Pakistani mujahideen for their “compassion and kindness” and willingness to join Afghan efforts to expel the occupying Coalition, Hekmatyar suggests that cross-border insurgent activity is used as an excuse for continuing the foreign occupation of Afghanistan. According to Hekmatyar, the Pakistani Taliban could be far more useful to the Afghans by pursuing jihad within Pakistan and attacking Coalition supply-lines that carry military and logistical equipment through Pakistan’s North-West Frontier Province to the Khyber Pass. “The entire nation of Afghanistan is ready to take part in the holy war against the U.S. occupiers, just the way they fought the Russians. If we have problems, it is only logistical problems.”

After emphasizing that it is only Afghans rather than the Pakistani Taliban or al-Qaeda who are resisting the U.S. occupation of Afghanistan, Hekmatyar compares the current occupation with that of the Soviets in the 1980s, suggesting: “The way the arrogant and ruthless Americans treat Afghans is far more violent and ruthless than that of the communists and Russian troops in Afghanistan… The Russian troops were invited by their puppet government, but the Americans first occupied Kabul, and then made a government in Bonn and brought it to Kabul!” Hekmatyar also accuses the Americans of selling “trucks full of weapons and military equipment” in a way the Russians never did. He also complains that the degree of financial corruption and embezzlement in the upper echelons of the “U.S. puppet government” far surpasses anything committed by the communists of the 1980s.

Hekmatyar’s statement comes as the warlord is denying persistent rumors of secret negotiations with the government of President Hamid Karzai.


Abu Yahya al-Libi, a Libyan-born senior al-Qaeda commander now based in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region, has issued a statement calling on Somalia’s Islamist insurgents to ignore a truce recently negotiated between their leaders and Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government (TFG) in favor of continuing their jihad (al-Sahab Media Production Organization, June 23).

In a 20 minute video entitled “Somalia – No Peace Without Islam,” Abu Yahya calls on Somali jihadis to reject the terms of the June 10 agreement signed by the TFG and the Alliance for the Re-liberation of Somalia (ARS), an umbrella group of former Islamic Courts Union Islamists and other anti-government Somali militants: “The mujahideen are not concerned with such agreements or with their provisions – indeed they consider them not worth the paper on which they were written” (for the full agreement, see Shabelle Media Network, June 10; see also Terrorism Focus, June 24).

Abu Yahya describes the agreement as the result of conspiracy and intrigue, “which the enemies of Muslims have mastered to enable them to prolong their domination on this earth. These agreements are aimed to absorb the indignation of the oppressed and wronged Muslim peoples. They are employed as a means to uproot jihad and the mujahideen in all hot areas, including beloved Somalia, by portraying the mujahideen, through the huge media networks of the enemies, as an obstacle in the way of achieving peace, stability, and reconciliation…” Abu Yahya suggests that Somalia’s jihadis find the inflexible firmness in the face of unbelievers recommended by the Quran rather than look for “common ground… a unified principle or a front of struggle that provides an umbrella for you… Say with clarity and frankness: We will continue to fight our enemies from among the despicable Abyssinians [Ethiopia’s occupation army] and their apostate collaborators… until we remove all traces and wipe out any mention of them in our country.” The Libyan militant tells Somalis that civil war is not always something to be avoided at all costs, reminding them that the Prophet Muhammad battled the unbelievers within his own Quraysh tribe.

Displaying his own unyielding approach to jihad, Abu Yahya insists that even the withdrawal of the Ethiopian army and its replacement by African Union or UN peacekeepers “will not change the situation at all” and will merely be “an attempt to replace an occupation with another occupation… a move from the state of a blatant occupation to that of a legitimate occupation.” Somalia’s mujahideen must be prepared to face any force that sets foot on Somali land, regardless of its affiliation or proclaimed intentions.

This is not the first statement from Abu Yahya directed at the Somali insurgents; it appears to be part of an effort to re-establish an al-Qaeda relationship with Somali Islamists that seems to have deteriorated over the last decade, contrary to assertions to the contrary from Ethiopian, TFG and U.S. sources. The effort may be working—last month Shaykh Mukhtar Abu al-Zubayr, the leader of the militant Somali al-Shabaab organization (which has rejected the TFG-ARS agreement outright), sent “greetings to Shaykh Abu Yahya al-Libi, who revived the al-Usra [family] Army, and whose words have had a stronger impact than 1,000 jihadist soldiers in your brothers’ battle against the global Crusade.”