«Lived In Kabul Right Under Everyone's Nose» : Taliban Spokesman Mocks US.

'Lived In Kabul Right Under Everyone's Nose': Taliban Spokesman Mocks US

Zabiullah Mujahid said he became the spokesman of the Taliban following the arrest of his predecessor.

Islamabad:

Taliban's spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid, who appeared before the media for the first time in a decade at a press conference after the insurgent group seized Kabul last month, said that he lived in the Afghan capital right under the nose of his adversaries who considered him a "ghost-like" figure during the war.

Mujahid, who operated in the shadows for years, also admitted that he studied at the Haqqania seminary in Nowshera in northwest Pakistan, which has also been dubbed the Taliban University or the ''University of Jihad'' internationally.

"They (US and Afghan National Forces) used to think I did not exist," Mujahid told The Express Tribune newspaper in an interview.

"I escaped so many times from their raids and attempts to capture me that they seriously considered that 'Zabiullah'' was a made up figure, not a real man who exists," the 43-year-old spokesman said.

"And yet, I managed to move about Afghanistan freely. I think this perception helped with that," he explained. "I lived in Kabul for a long time, right under everyone's noses. I roamed the width and breadth of the country. I also managed to have first-hand access to the frontlines, where the Taliban carried out their actions, and up to date information. It was quite puzzling for our adversaries."

Due to his shadowy appearance for years, there was speculation as to whether the faceless spokesman might actually be more than one person.

"The US forces would often pay off locals to obtain some information about my whereabouts. Using that information, like I said, they must have launched dozens of intelligence-based operations hoping to find some trace of me," he said. "But I never left or tried to - even think about try to leave Afghanistan."

Mujahid, who was born in the Gardez district of Paktia province sometime in 1978, said that he specialised in Islamic jurisprudence from the Haqqania seminary in northwest Pakistan.

The Taliban government's acting interior minister Sirajuddin Haqqani, Water and Energy Minister Mullah Abdul Latif Mansoor and Telecommunication minister Najibullah Haqqani - all on the UN blacklist - and Education Minister Maulana Abdul Baqi Haqqani studied at the Haqqania seminary, which has regularly received grants from successive governments in Pakistan.

Mujahid said he became the spokesman of the Taliban following the arrest of his predecessor. He also said that he had never seen the Taliban founder Mullah Umar. "But I have worked with Sheikh Mullah Mansoor, and Sheikh Hebatullah," he said, referring to Mullah Omar's successors.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV News

NDTV.com provides latest news from India and the world. Get today’s news headlines from Business, Technology, Bollywood, Cricket, videos, photos, live news coverage and exclusive breaking news from India.

https://www.ndtv.com/

Related news
San Francisco mayor spotted defying her own mask guidelines.

San Francisco mayor spotted defying her own mask guidelines.

CNN's Brianna Keilar rolls the tape on San Francisco Mayor London Breed after she was spotted violating her own mask guidelines at a concert. #CNN #News

WSJ: Trump wants McConnell voted out of Senate

WSJ: Trump wants McConnell voted out of Senate

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that former President Trump wants Sen. Mitch McConnell out as Senate minority leader and is searching for Republicans willing to mount a challenge. #CNN #News

Putin's party on track to retain majority amid fraud claims.

Putin's party on track to retain majority amid fraud claims.

Russia's ruling party United Russia is on track to secure a majority following a three-day parliamentary election, according to early results and an exit poll reported by Russian state media RIA Novosti. Opposition members and independent observer...

Covid vaccine is safe for kids aged 5-11, Pfizer says.

Covid vaccine is safe for kids aged 5-11, Pfizer says.

In a highly anticipated announcement, Pfizer said a Phase 2/3 trial showed its Covid-19 vaccine was safe and generated a "robust" antibody response in children ages 5 to 11. CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Adm. Brett Giroir, former assistant for secret...

Gabby Petito’s body likely found, says FBI

Gabby Petito’s body likely found, says FBI

The case of missing Gabby Petito took a tragic turn when police found human remains during their search for her -- and officials are working to determine whether the discovery could answer questions regarding what happened to the 22-year-old. CNN’...

Border crisis is 'exactly' what Biden wants: Ken Paxton.

Border crisis is 'exactly' what Biden wants: Ken Paxton.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton says the crisis at the border is worse than he's ever seen. Subscribe to Fox News! Watch more Fox News Video: Watch Fox News Channel Live: FOX News Channel (FNC) is a 24-hour all-encompassing news service deliveri...