Taliban: ISIS 'will not have any Islamic justification' for attacks in post-US Afghanistan

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – A Taliban official said on Wednesday that ISIS is "not welcomed by the people of Afghanistan" and "will not have any Islamic justification" to carry out attacks in the country under Taliban rule.

Taliban Spokesperson for International Media Mohammad Suhail Shaheen made the comments during an exclusive interview with Kurdistan 24 on Wednesday.

The swift takeover of the former Western-backed government by Taliban insurgents in a matter of days following the US military withdrawal of Afghanistan has sent shockwaves around the world. The country’s democratically-elected president Ashraf Ghani is in exile following his escape from Kabul after Taliban fighters had reached its gates in mid-August.

The Islamist group is now in control of all Afghanistan’s provinces except Panjshir, where resistance against Taliban fighters has erupted just as it faces the challenge of actually governing the nation.

Previously, the US-backed Afghan government was battling on two fronts: one against the Taliban and the other against ISIS. Now that the previous government has been toppled, both groups both claim a religiously-based right to rule.

The Taliban is currently in talks with various high-profile Afghan politicians to form an “Islamic and inclusive” government for post-US Afghanistan.

"Daesh (ISIS) is not an Afghan phenomenon. It’s a foreign phenomenon, so they have no roots among the people of Afghanistan," Shaheen said, citing ISIS' past violent actions against Afghans as the primary reason while seeming to ignore the long list of brutal attacks against civilians carried out by his own group for decades.

"Because the occupation is finished and there is an Islamic government, they will not have any Islamic justification — any kind of justification — to carry out their activities. That is why I am sure they will not have a state in Afghanistan."

US president Joe Biden has defended the US withdrawal, warning that the United States remains committed to fighting terrorism there and elsewhere in the world.

Read More: Biden reaffirms commitment to fight against terrorism in Middle East as US leaves Afghanistan

The National Resistance Front of Afghanistan has recently emerged as a military alliance comprised of former Northern Alliance members and anti-Taliban fighters, centered in the Panjshir province. It was founded by Ahmad Massoud, the son of Afghan resistance hero Ahmad Shah Massoud.

Read More: 'Our best model is Iraqi Kurdistan,' says group resisting Taliban rule in Afghanistan

Ali Nazari, the organization's Head of Foreign Affairs, recently told Kurdistan 24, “If we see aggression, if we see invasion, if we see the narrative of dominance, we are ready. We are ready to defend ourselves and to defeat any enemy that tries to enter our region.” 

The Taliban is reintroducing the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan as the political system of governance after being toppled some 20 years ago by the US and its allies in response to sheltering leading members of Al Qaeda as they planned and carried out the infamous attacks on September 11, 2001. 

Editing by John J. Catherine

Interview conducted by Nalin Dri