Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

AAN in the Media

Taliban Say Top Leader’s Son Carried Out a Suicide Attack

< 1 min

New York Times, 22 July 2017

This article on the claim of Taleban leader Hebatullah that his son has carried out a recent suicide attack on a police base in Helmand, driving a captured humvee, contains three links to the AAN website, mentions an article dated from May 2016 as a proof for plausibility of Hebatullah’s son suicide and extensively quotes from latest AAN analysis by Borhan Osman about a new Taleban handbook for its fighters:

… researchers and Taliban watchers have documented that Mawlawi Haibatullah’s son signed up for a suicide mission some time ago (…). 

Borhan Osman, a senior researcher with the Afghanistan Analysts Network who has written extensively about the Taliban, said Mawlawi Haibatullah had been preoccupied with efforts to return the Taliban to its puritanical origins after a period of ideological corruption and bloody retribution by his predecessor, Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansour.

Mr. Osman said that after nearly two decades of unified leadership under the Taliban’s secretive founder, Mullah Muhammad Omar, who was seen as “a spiritual figure above worldly business,” leadership rifts were revealed under Mullah Mansour, who ruthlessly suppressed dissent and was heavily involved in drug trafficking. Mawlawi Haibatullah, in his recent messages, has said that the movement was deviating from its original intent, and that he wanted it back on track.

“Haibatullah is a cleric who has shown he is not much for the worldly business either, and he is trying to return to the earlier spiritual way of Mullah Omar’s leadership,” Mr. Osman said. His son’s participation in a suicide attack “will most likely have a positive impact for his leadership, as the fighters and commanders will see his piety and investment in the cause.”