Young Taliban recruits refuse to believe 9/11 ever happened

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Bagram [Afghanistan]: Many children born after 2001, growing up hating America and trained by the Taliban say that they do not know if the 9/11 attacks ever happened with some refusing to believe that the attacks were orchestrated by al-Qaeda.
One such child who never benefited from billions of dollars in Western aid money that elevated the lives of countless Afghans is Esmatullah Omari who said that when he was 12, he was trained by the Taliban to plant roadside bombs and at 16, he was attacking military convoys near Bagram airfield, the largest U.S. military base in Afghanistan and the epicentre of America’s longest war, reported The Washington Post. The Americans are now gone, however, the 19-year-old Omari stands guard at one of the Bagram’s entrances and still does not understand why did the Americans come in the first place.
Thousands of Americans who were infants or born after the 9/11 attacks joined the U.S. military to combat terrorism and support democracy in Afghanistan included the 11 out of the 13 U.S. service members killed in the dastardly bombing by the ISIS-K terrorists at the Kabul affiliate just days before the exit of the troops from the war-torn country.
At the same time, a generation was distinctly shaped by the 9/11 attacks who battled the Americans as the Taliban fighters. Many of them were children when they first tasted war, trading their childhoods for what they were told was their duty as Muslims, reported The Washington Post.
Many children joined the Taliban after the US forces killed their relatives. Some hated the government backed by the US who they believed to be corrupt. The Americans were portrayed as invaders willing to kill Muslims by the preachers at madrassas. The preachers also encouraged the students to wage a religious jihad against the foreigners, reported The Washington Post.
The young members of the Taliban were fed with positive imagery of al-Qaeda, especially its founder — the architect of the U.S. attacks, who was given protection in Afghanistan in the previous rule of the Taliban.
“Osama bin Laden was a hero and a mujahid,” The Washington Post quoted a 19-year-old Sharafuddin Shakir as saying who was surrounded by militants inside a former U.S. military outpost in Ghazni province that they now controlled.
“This is the duty of everyone to fight against the invaders and infidels who occupied our land,” said his uncle. Responding to a query about why the Taliban recruited the children, he said, “Jihad is mandatory everywhere,” reported the newspaper.
When Omari was 16, the US and the Afghan troops learned about a suicide-bombing mission that was being planned by his brother. The troops raided Nasru and shot his brother, reported the newspaper.
“I was in grade eight, but when my brother was martyred, I left school,” said Omari.
He formally joined the Taliban and said that he felt happy whenever he successfully attacked a vehicle.
A few months after his recruitment, his younger brother joined the Taliban along with several teenage cousins.
“I never listened to music, only the jihadi anthems,” The Washington Post quoted an 18-year-old fighter Mutawakil as saying, “Music is not good. It is a sin.”
Talking about the reasons for batling the Americans, he said that they had come here to root out Islam.
“They came here to root out Islam. They came to establish democratic rule here and wanted to use us for their own interests. They wanted to make us as they are. They wanted to kill our clerics and eliminate our religion,” the newspaper quoted him as saying.
Since the exit of the US troops from Afghanistan, the Taliban faces the challenge of protecting the Afghans from ISIS.
An 18-year-old Gul Muhammed Heymat said that he learned about the American forces in a madrassa where his teachers taught him what was required of him as a “good Muslim”, however, the clerics never mentioned the 9/11 attacks or the presence of al-Qaeda in Afghanistan.
They were told that bin Laden was a good Muslim and a mujahid, reported the newspaper.
Many other such Taliban young members do not know about the 9/11 attacks and were ready to die for their beliefs.
Shakir refused to believe that al-Qaeda and bin Laden orchestrated them, but he questioned whether the attacks even happened, according to The Washington Post.
“It was not true. The Americans invaded Afghanistan on the pretext of 9/11, but the real motive was that they were against the true Islamic rule in Afghanistan,” the newspaper quoted him as saying.


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