One of the five Taliban leaders released by President Obama in 2014 in exchange for U.S. Army deserter Bowe Bergdahl is the mastermind of the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan.
Khairullah Khairkhwa was part of the official Taliban delegation that negotiated with the Biden administration the final terms of the U.S. withdrawal, clearing the path for the Taliban to retake Afghanistan, reports investigative reporter Paul Sperry for the New York Post.
U.S. intelligence officials regarded the Taliban Five as the “hardest of the hardcore” and urged Obama to reconsider his decision to release them from the Guantanamo Bay prison. Sperry noted that Obama assured Americans the jihadist leaders would be transferred to Qatar and prevented from causing any trouble.
“In fact, they were left free to engineer Sunday’s sacking of Kabul,” Sperry writes.
After the release of the Taliban Five, the Obama-Biden administration then turned a blind eye to intelligence reports and the pledge of the commanders to return to fight Americans in Afghanistan. Using Qatar as a base, they made contacts with active Taliban militants in Afghanistan.
At the peace summit with the U.S., Khairkhwa declared the Taliban’s prime objective, to establish Islamic law in Afghanistan.
“I started jihad to remove foreign forces from my country and establish an Islamic government, and jihad will continue until we reach that goal through a political agreement,” Khairkhwa said.
Sperry pointed out that earlier this year, Khairkhwa promised not to retaliate against any Afghans who worked with the U.S. military or the American-backed government in Kabul.
But reports from Kandahar and Kabul indicate Taliban are going door to door with a “kill list” in hand.
Khairkhwa, Sperry reported, previously served as the Taliban’s interior minister in Afghanistan, overseeing enforcement of Islamic-law punishments such as beheadings and stonings.
As the Taliban moved into Kabul this week, Jihad Watch director Robert Spencer pointed out the American government and the media’s “spectacular misunderstanding of the conflict.”
Taliban commander Muhammed Arif Mustafa, in an interview with CNN, spelled out the ultimate objective.
“It’s our belief that one day, mujahedin will have victory, and Islamic law will come not to just Afghanistan, but all over the world. We are not in a hurry. We believe it will come one day. Jihad will not end until the last day,” he said.
A CNN journalist described the remarks as “a chilling admission from a group that claims it wants peace.”
“The Taliban does indeed want peace,” Spencer commented. “It wants the peace that will follow the world’s submission to the hegemony of Islamic law.”
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