The Islamic State (IS) released the 300th edition of its weekly newsletter, Al-Naba, on 19 August, wherein the main editorial on page three dealt with the fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban on 15 August. The editorial was entitled, “Finally, They Elevated Mullah Bradley”. IS has used the term “Mullah Bradley” or “Mullah Bradley project” to refer to the Taliban, the accusation basically being that the Taliban are American agents. (The Taliban obviously are agents of a foreign power, but not the Americans.) The rest of the editorial fleshes out this idea that the U.S. and the Taliban have conspired in the Talibanization of Afghanistan, and the fact that all other Islamists support this—the Sururis, Muslim Brotherhood, etc.—only shows that IS is the sole standard bearer of Islam.
IS opens by saying, “There is nothing new or surprising about what happened” since this was set in train by “the ‘peace agreement’ between the Crusaders and the apostates in Doha” and all that has happened is the implementation of this on the ground. This was “[s]tarted by Trump and completed by Biden”: “the fall of the country in the hands of the Taliban was a natural result” of the policy set down by this agreement.
Reviewing the past twenty years, IS’s view is that the U.S. overthrew a Taliban regime of “incomplete” shari’a, which sheltered the muhajirun (“emigrants”, foreign fighters) after 9/11, but once the Taliban “vowed that they would not allow the ‘Manhattan sin’ to be repeated [from territory they control], America returned [Afghanistan to] the rule to the Taliban and gave them Kabul without firing a single shot!”
In IS’s view, this is a conspiracy by the Americans to portray jihad in a bad light, to create a narrative where years of fighting brought only “destruction and devastation”, but “a few years of peace talks in luxury hotels brought the Taliban back to power”. “America planned well for this to be a victory for peace, not for Islam!” Al-Naba adds. The effect in transforming jihadists into negotiators is “the most dangerous thing” about this, Al-Naba says.
IS, of course, denounces the “direct coordination between the American forces and the Taliban”, both “during the advance towards Kabul” in their telling—through the “peace deal” that brought this about by shattering the Afghan government—and now, during the evacuation, which continues “in an atmosphere of high confidence between the two sides” and consists, by Al-Naba’s reckoning, in the rescue of “thousands of crusaders and spies”.
IS says, “Despite the clarity of what happened”, namely “a process of peaceful transfer of power from one taghut to another”, there are “many parties, led by Al-Qaeda, Al-Sururiya, and the apostate Brotherhood,” who had insisted on portraying “the American-Qatari scenario” as a “conquest”. These factions have claimed as “victory … everything that agrees with their whims and achieves their interests, even if it is disbelief and concession!”
Al-Naba goes on:
The more we reflect on the conditions and methods of the drummers and promoters of the ‘new Taliban’ model, the more certain we are of the correctness of the path taken by the Islamic State to support monotheism and establish the shari’a. Support for Islam does not pass through the hotels of Qatar, nor the embassies of Russia, China, and Iran! The victory that America anticipates, Qatar and its media sponsors, and the Sururiya, Murji’ah, and the Brotherhood bless, is an illusory victory.
IS lambastes the Taliban as backsliders who will not use tamkeen (lit. “empowerment”, the holding of territory) to administer shari’a in full and will instead find ways to “escape” this duty. This is because, in Al-Naba’s telling, the “the Crusaders realised the failure of the model of the apostate [Muslim] Brotherhood to take over the great ideological war against the Islamic State, even after they came to power. So, it was necessary to search for another model in which they saw a better opportunity to confront the Islamic State and present it as an alternative among the sons of Muslims. The ‘new Taliban’ was the alternative that combined military and ideological confrontation.”
The promotion of the “new Taliban” did not begin after the fall of Kabul, Al-Naba says, but began “in Doha about fourteen months ago” and its extent can be seen by the support it has received from the “apostate HAMAS” and the disappearance of the rhetoric from “those who previously described the Taliban as backward and obscurantist”. Al-Naba asks sarcastically if the “Taliban’s lights” have brought it out of the dark ages “after they entered the tunnel of peace”.
Channelling its inner Stalin, Al-Naba says “it is no coincidence” that all of the parties that waged war against IS now support the Taliban, These same factions who accused IS of being in some kind of conspiracy with the Americans when it seized towns and cities in Iraq and Syria in 2014 now celebrate “Afghanistan fall[ing] with its [provincial] capitals and [military] headquarters within days without any fighting” as a great victory against the Americans.
The Taliban leaders have announced the liberation of Afghanistan from inside the hotels of Qatar, which includes the American “Al-Udeid base” from which planes are launched to bomb Muslim lands. Their illusory victory has emerged from where the decisions of war against Islam are issued! What victory are they talking about? America really did it and finally elevated Mullah Bradley, and there is no doubt that other ‘mullahs’ are currently being manufactured in the hotels and embassies of the tawagheet and are waiting for another ‘victory’ to be granted to them by America or others. What happened is nothing more than replacing a shaven taghut with a bearded one. The first failed in the war on terrorism, while the second America believes can be more feasible. As for the soldiers of the Caliphate, they are preparing for a new stage of their blessed jihad that will not stop, with the permission of God Almighty, until the earth—the whole earth—submits to the rule of its Creator, for this is victory and all else is whispering and mirage.