Taliban spokesperson takes dig at US, says 'resided in Kabul right under everyone's nose'
Mujahid stated in an interview that the US and Afghan National Forces used to believe he did not exist. He claimed to have evaded their raids several times. The 43-year-old commander went on to say that he was able to roam freely around Afghanistan.
Zabiullah Mujahid, the Taliban's spokesperson, stated during a news conference after the rebel group captured Kabul last month that he resided in the Afghan capital right under the nose of his opponents, who considered him a "ghost-like" figure during the battle. Mujahid, who had been operating in the shadows for years, also acknowledged attending the Haqqania seminary in Nowshera, northwest Pakistan, which has also been referred to as the Taliban University or the "University of Jihad" worldwide.
Mujahid stated in an interview that the US and Afghan National Forces used to believe he did not exist. He claimed to have evaded their raids several times. The 43-year-old commander went on to say that he was able to roam freely around Afghanistan. "I stayed in Kabul for a long time, right under everyone's eyes; I toured the length and breadth of the nation; I also had first-hand access to the frontlines, where the Taliban carried out their operations, and up-to-date information; it was very perplexing for our opponents," he continued.
There was suspicion that the faceless spokesperson was more than one person due to his enigmatic look for years. Mujahid, who was born in the Paktia province's Gardez region in 1978, claimed to have studied Islamic law at the Haqqania seminary in northwest Pakistan.
The Taliban government's acting interior minister, Sirajuddin Haqqani, Water and Energy Minister Mullah Abdul Latif Mansoor, and Telecommunications Minister Najibullah Haqqani - all of whom are on the UN blacklist - and Education Minister Maulana Abdul Baqi Haqqani all attended the Haqqania seminary, which has received grants from successive Pakistani governments. Mujahid stated that he became the Taliban's spokesperson following the arrest of his predecessor. He also claimed to have never seen Taliban founder Mullah Umar.