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Warlord Hekmatyar calls on Afghans to wage jihad against US
KABUL - Warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, who is wanted by Washington for terrorism has distributed a video recording in southern Afghanistan urging Afghans to wage jihad against America.
In the 22-minute speech on a recording filled with graphic images of carnage and violence against Muslims in Indonesia, Palestine, Iraq and elsewhere, Hekmatyar makes a passionate call for holy war.
“War in Afghanistan and Iraq is the second crusade war but the only difference is in the first crusade Italy was leading the war and this time it is America,” Hekmatyar says on the CD.
The video produced by the Abdullah Islamic and Jihadi Films Center starts with the slogan: “Our jihad will continue till the destruction of America, Britain and Israel and till the liberation of Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan.”
Hekmatyar, who heads the fundamentalist Hezb-i-Islami guerrilla faction, has been declared a wanted terrorist by the US for his attempts to destabilise Karzai’s US-backed government.
His foot soldiers are believed to be part of an alliance of Al Qaeda and Taleban militants waging a guerrilla campaign against US and Afghan government troops in south and southeastern Afghanistan
“We have lots of young fighters who are ready to sacrifice their lives and wealth to safe the religion,” he said.
The 8,000-strong ISAF multinational force is in Kabul and some northern provinces helping with security while more than 17,000 US-led soldiers are hunting militants in the south and southeast.
Hekmatyar also called on Afghans to use suicide attacks against the enemy—a recent phenomenon in Afghanistan.
“If they cannot fight in an organized front they can risk their lives and carry out suicide guerrilla attacks which have given great defeats to the enemy,” Hekmatyar said.
An American woman and one Afghan child were killed by a suicide bomber in Kabul’s Chicken Street last month in an area which had once been popular with backpackers and tourists.
Hekmatyar is a former prime minister and was a leading mujahideen warlord during the war against the Soviet Union.
Ironically, the warlord who is now on the US’ most-wanted list, was once a CIA protege with close links to the Pakistani intelligence service.
He took refuge in Iran during the reign of the hardline Taleban regime but was forced into hiding in Afghanistan after he proclaimed a jihad against Karzai’s government in Iran.
He returned to an undisclosed location in Afghanistan following threats by the Afghan Government to arrest him and try him for war crimes.
As Hekmatyar spoke, chickens and children voices could be heard in the background although it was unclear where he was speaking from.
During the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, Hekmatyar received billions of dollars in military assistance from funds the CIA channeled to the mujahadeen through Pakistan's ISI. He was described as power hungry, ruthless and cunning by the Pakistani government.
After the fall of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan, Hekmatyar signed the Islamabad accords, which nominally made him Prime Minister. However, the accords fell apart and he aligned himself with Abdul Rashid Dostum's Hezbi Wahjat. Together they laid siege to Kabul, fighting Burhanuddin Rabbani and his Defense Minister Ahmed Shah Massoud. From 1992 to 1996, the warring factions destroyed 70% of Kabul and killed 50,000 people, most of them civilians.