Al-Qaeda’s General Command released a statement earlier today through As-Sahab Media congratulating the Taliban on its victory in Afghanistan. This is the first statement from Al-Qaeda Central since the cataclysmic events in Afghanistan over the past few weeks. The official silence of the organisation heretofore—even as its operatives worked in lock-step with the rest of the coalition of jihadists run by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) to conquer the country—is almost certainly deliberate, to allow the Taliban and the United States political cover to ensure the American departure while avoiding the ramifications of Al-Qaeda controlling the Afghan state, the very thing the mission in Afghanistan was intended to (and had succeeded in, so long as it was sustained) undoing. The statement itself is exactly what one would expect: gloating about the West’s defeat and the damage to American hegemony, saying this proves that jihad is the only way, and that the Taliban’s “Islamic Emirate” is merely the first step in a global campaign to bring the world under the rule of the shari’a. The text of the English-language statement is posted below, with some minor editions for transliteration and translation.
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Congratulation to the Islamic Umma on the Victory Granted by Allah in Afghanistan!
In the name of Allah, the most beneficent, the most merciful. All praise belongs to Allah, who fulfilled His promise, gave victory to His servants, and defeated the allies with His power alone. Praise be to the One who soothed our hearts with the recitation of the verses of the Noble Qur’an from the Presidential Palace in Kabul after it had been cleansed from the filth of the Americans. Allah, the glorious, says in His Book, “And those who, when empowered by us in the land, establish prayers, offer zakat, order virtue, and prohibit evil. And with Allah rests the end of all matters.” And may peace and blessings be upon our master, Muhammad, his family, and all his Companions.
We praise the Almighty, the Omnipotent, who humiliated and defeated America, the head of disbelief. We praise Him for breaking America’s back, tarnishing its global reputation and expelling it, disgraced and humiliated, from the Islamic land of Afghanistan. We congratulate the Islamic umma [community] on this historic victory that has been achieved at the hands of the resolute Afghan nation—a symbol of resilience and resistance against invading imperialist powers. Afghanistan is undoubtedly a graveyard of Empires and an impregnable fortress of Islam. With the defeat of the Americans, this is the third time that the Afghan nation, within a span of less than two centuries, has successfully defeated and expelled an invading imperialist power. The defeat of the American Empire of Evil is surely a sign of Allah in this age and a tremendous source of inspiration for the oppressed of the world.
In this path of jihad and resistance, the Afghan nation has recorded historic feats and offered invaluable sacrifices over the course of several decades. Generation after generation stood firm in its resolve to confront Western invaders, refused to bow down in the face of Western tyranny or abandon the way of jihad and martyrdom. So may Allah reward the Afghan nation greatly on behalf of the entire Islamic umma! We congratulate you on this great victory against the Crusader alliance. On this historic occasion, we would like to offer our congratulations to the leadership of the Islamic Emirate, specifically to Emir al-Mumineen [the Commander of the Faithful], Shaykh al-Hadith Hibatullah Akhundzada, may Allah protect him!
May Allah accept your martyrs—the men, women, and children who offered sacrifices in this path! May Allah have mercy upon the Commander of the Faithful, Mullah Muhammad Umar, who stood firm and took on the entire world with his unwavering faith in Allah. With firm trust in Allah’s promise of victory, he made his famous statement, the echo of which can be heard today, loud and clear, all across Afghanistan, indeed all across the Islamic world: “Allah has promised us victory, and Bush has promised us defeat; we shall see which of the two promises shall be fulfilled!” May Allah bless the soul of the Commander of the Faithful, the defiant, uncompromising leader, Mullah Akhtar Mansour! May Allah have mercy on the mentor of the Mujahideen, the father of martyrs, Shaykh Jalal ud-Din al-Haqqani.
Our Islamic umma! This victory has demonstrated what the Islamic umma is capable of when it unites, takes up arms, and fights in the Way of Allah to defend its religion, its sanctities, its lands and wealth. These events prove that the way of jihad is the only way that leads to victory and tamkeen [empowerment]. No matter how well-equipped, numerically superior, hegemonic, and brutal the enemy might be, it shall never be able to stand the test of time in the face of a community that strongly holds on to the Book of Allah, follows of the Sunna of His Messenger and his Companions by fighting against the disbelievers and the munafiqun [hypocrites], and strives to establish the shari’a of Allah.
Allah, the glorious, says, “Allah has promised those among you who believe, and do righteous good deeds, that He will certainly grant them succession to [power] on earth, as He granted it to those before them, and that He will grant them the authority to practise their religion, that which He has chosen for them [i.e., Islam]. He will replace their fear with peace and security so that they will worship God alone and consider no one equal to Him [in worship]. Whoever disbelieves after this, they are the Fasiqun [rebellious, disobedient, wicked].” [Chapter 24 (Al-Nur): Verse 55]
So, our dear umma! It is time for you to prepare for the next stage of the struggle, the way for which has been paved by the victory of the defiant Afghan nation. With the help of Allah, this historic victory will open the way for the Muslim masses to achieve liberation from the despotic rule of the tyrants who have been imposed by the West on the Islamic world. Inshallah [God willing], the victory of the Muslim umma in Afghanistan shall prove to be a prelude to the liberation of Palestine from Zionist occupation. America and NATO’s Afghan debacle marks the beginning of the end of the dark era of Western hegemony and military occupation of Islamic lands. It is worth mentioning here that these historic events offer an opportunity for the masses in Europe and East Asia to break free from the shackles of American hegemony.
To conclude, we call upon the Afghan nation that has demonstrated its loyalty to its religion and its umma to unite around the blessed leadership of the Islamic Emirate — a leadership that has over the years proven its sincerity and keenness to safeguard the interests of the masses and protect their religion, lives, and wealth. We call upon the Afghan nation to abide by the decisions and shari’a-based policies of the blessed Islamic Emirate. Allah says: “O you who believe! Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger, and those charged with authority among you.” [Chapter 4 (Al-Nisa): Verse 29, often called “the obedience verse”.] We call upon the Islamic umma in its entirety to stand by the honourable Afghan community and to extend its total support to the Islamic Emirate in all fields, specifically at this critical juncture in which all forces of disbelief have set their eyes upon this Islamic community that takes immense pride in its religion.
O Allah! Just as you helped your slaves in the Islamic Emirate to overcome their enemies, help them in establishing the law of your shari’a in Afghanistan and protecting the interests of Islam and Muslims. O Allah! With your infinite mercy, make them self-sufficient and self-reliant. O Allah! Just as you have liberated Afghanistan from the American occupation, liberate Palestine from Zionist occupation and the Islamic Maghreb from French occupation. O Allah! Liberate the Levant, Somalia, Yemen, Kashmir, and the rest of the Islamic lands from the clutches of the enemies of Islam. O Allah! Grant freedom to Muslim prisoners across the world. O Allah, bless the souls of the martyrs of the umma who paved the way for this victory with their pure blood and untiring efforts. May Allah guide the mujahideen of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan to continue on this blessed path so that the Muslim masses get to live a life of peace and prosperity under the merciful shade of shari’a, ameen!
Our last prayer is that all praise belongs to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds.
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 This is a reference to the Taliban’s refusal after 9/11 to hand over Usama bin Laden, despite the fact it would have saved their regime to do so.
 Mansour was officially named as the Taliban leader in July 2015, after the Taliban was forced to admit that Mullah Umar had died in April 2013 and it had been covered up for nearly two-and-a-half years. The Taliban is an instrument belonging to Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI)—even in the Taliban’s story, Mullah Umar died in hospital in Karachi, not exactly hiding from Pakistan’s pervasive secret police—but the clerical regime in Iran has increased its shares in the movement, as one might say. Mansour was an example of this: when Mansour was killed in a drone strike in May 2016, he had just been to a meeting in Iran, which included not only the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) but Russian officials. (Russia has also been investing in the Taliban.)
 For a fuller look at Jalaluddin Haqqani and the Haqqani Network see here.