Taliban secret agents, who are mostly shaved and wearing jeans and sunglasses, have spent years infiltrating Afghan government ministries, universities, businesses and humanitarian organizations.
As Moment Zero approached and US forces were completing their retreat in August, these agents emerged from the shadows in Kabul and in other large cities in Afghanistan, surprising their neighbors and colleagues, brandishing their weapons and helping the Taliban to quickly take over the country from within.
According to the American Wall Street Journal, the central role played by these secret cells is now clear, three months after the US withdrawal. At that time, Afghan cities fell one after another like dominoes with little resistance from US-backed government forces, and Kabul collapsed in a few hours without a single shot being fired.
“We had agents in every organization and department. The units that were secretly in Kabul were the ones that actually took control of the strategic sites, “boasted Muhammad Maulvi Saad, a senior Taliban commander who led suicide and homicide operations in Kabul before its fall.
Saad’s men belong to the so-called Badri Force of the Haqqani network, which is part of the Taliban, which the United States has designated as a terrorist organization due to its ties to Al-Qaeda.
“We also had people in the office in where I am today, ”he added, sitting in front of a series of CCTV screens at the Kabul Airport Security Command Center, which he now oversees.
The twenty-year war in Afghanistan has often been seen as a struggle between Taliban rebel gangs and Afghan and US forces fighting for control of rural areas.
However, the game was ultimately won by a vast underground network of activists within urban areas.
On August 15, after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled Kabul, it was these men who captured the capital while traditional Taliban forces remained out, according to the newspaper.
Muhammad Rahim al-Omari, a mid-level commander of the Badri force who works undercover in a gasoline company in Kabul said he was called to work that day by the Taliban. He added that he and 12 others were sent in an Afghan intelligence complex in the eastern part of the city, where they disarmed duty officers and prevented them from harming computer and file.
Other cells also spread to take over other government and military facilities and reached the Kabul airport, where the United States was carrying out a massive evacuation effort, and controlled the airport perimeter until the Taliban military. they did not come better from the countryside in morning. An agent, Mullah Rahim, was also sent to protect the Afghan Institute of Archeology and its treasures from potential thieves.
Al-Omari said the Al-Badri force has fragmented cells working on different tasks, and are armed fighters, fundraisers and engaged in propaganda and recruiting.
He added: “Now these three types of mujahideen have united.” Mr. Al-Omari himself is now the Deputy Chief of Police of District 12 in Kabul. Their success helped to strengthen the influence of Haqqani followers within the Taliban movement in general.
The founder of the Badri movement is Badruddin Haqqani, who was killed in an attack by US drones in Pakistan in 2012. The movement is now under the final command of his brother, Sirajuddin Haqqani, who is responsible for Afghanistan’s internal security as interior minister.
The Al-Badri force includes several subgroups, the most famous of which is the Special Operations Unit “Al-Badri 313”, whose fighters have been deployed in high-end helmets and protective jackets together with US marines at Kabul airport after the fall of the capital.
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