Taliban say they had no record of al-Zawahiri being in Kabul

The Taliban have officially denied Thursday that the leader of the terrorist organization Al Qaeda, Ayman al Zawahiri, was residing in Kabul, three days after the United States announced his death in a bombing against a building in the capital of Afghanistan.

The Taliban said in a statement that “the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan has no information about al-Zawahiri’s arrival and stay in Kabul” and added that the authorities “have ordered the investigation and intelligence agencies to conduct a thorough and serious investigation into various aspects of this incident.”

“There is no threat to any country from the territory of Afghanistan, including to the United States. The Islamic Emirate wants to implement the Doha Agreement and violations of it must end,” the group said in the statement, published by its spokesman and Deputy Minister of Information and Culture, Zabihullah Mujahid, through his account on the social network Twitter.

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In this regard, the Taliban have recalled that “the United States invaded Afghanistan and violated all international principles, an action that is again condemned.” “If this action were to be repeated, the responsibility for any consequences would fall on the United States,” they concluded.

The death of Al Zawahiri, leader of Al Qaeda since 2011, was announced Monday by U.S. President Joe Biden. Hours later, U.S. National Security Council strategic communications coordinator John Kirby confirmed that Washington “has been in very direct contact with Taliban leaders” to address the fact that al-Zawahiri was residing in Kabul.

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“We have made it clear that we don’t believe, we don’t think, and we don’t assume. We know this is a violation of the Doha Agreement,” he maintained, before stressing that al-Zawahiri’s death “demonstrates” Washington’s commitment to prevent Afghanistan from being “a safe haven for terrorists.”

The Doha agreement, signed in February 2020 between the United States and the Taliban — after a process in which the Afghan government did not participate — includes a commitment by the Taliban to sever ties with Al Qaeda and to work to prevent their territory from being used to carry out attacks against other countries, a promise that has since been called into question by Washington.

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