The radical Taliban movement that has seized power in Afghanistan claims that it had condemned the September 11 attacks in the United States 20 years ago and was ready to cooperate in their investigation.
This was stated by Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen in an interview with Pakistani Geo TV, which aired on Saturday.
“Let me remind you that we condemned this incident. (Abdul Salam) Zaif was then ambassador (to Pakistan), and I was an assistant. We called a press conference and condemned this incident. , – Shaheen said.
“We asked to resolve this issue through dialogue, not to invade Afghanistan. And the result of this invasion is now in front of you,” Suhail Shaheen said.
“But they did not listen to us, invaded Afghanistan and occupied it using modern weapons. Then there were more than 150 thousand soldiers of them and their allies. But the result was what we warned about 20 years ago.
Shaheen also claimed that the Taliban, who were in power in Afghanistan at the time, were “taken by surprise” by these terrorist attacks in the United States organized by Al-Qaeda and did not know about them in advance.
On September 11, 2001, 19 al-Qaeda terrorists hijacked four passenger airliners in the United States. They sent two of them to the towers of the World Trade Center in New York, and another to the Pentagon building in the suburbs of Washington.
The fourth hijacked plane was also heading towards the capital but crashed near the city of Shanksville (Pennsylvania). As a result of this attack, in addition to the terrorists themselves, 2,977 people were killed.
Meanwhile, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that the seizure of Afghanistan by the Taliban was caused by the collapse of the Afghan political and military leadership,
“What we saw was a collapse of the political and military leadership, and that triggered the collapse of the whole defense against the Taliban,” Stoltenberg told The New York Times newspaper.
The NATO chief stressed that a lot of analysis would be conducted to study whether the withdrawal of the US and its allies from Afghanistan had triggered the collapse of the Afghan government.
“My main focus is how we can preserve the gains made in the fight against terrorism and how you get people out of Afghanistan,” he added.
The Taliban entered Kabul on August 15, ending a weeks-long offensive and resulting in the collapse of the US-backed government.
Internationally recognized Afghan President Ashraf Ghani resigned and left the country for the United Arab Emirates. The seizure of power has forced thousands of Afghans to seek escape from the country for fear of reprisals from the militants.
- With Inputs from Tass & Sputnik News Agency
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