Taliban justifies 9/11 attacks in recently released video - watch

"This heavy slap on their dark faces was the consequence of their interventionist policies and not our doing," reads a voice in the video.

September 8, 2019 18:55
4 minute read.
Second tower of the World Trade Center bursting into flames after being hit on Sept. 11, 2001

Second tower of the World Trade Center bursting into flames after being hit by an airplane in New York on September 11, 2001. (photo credit: STR NEW/REUTERS)

A Taliban video published earlier this summer justified the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks as caused by the "interventionist policies" of the United States.

"This heavy slap on their dark faces was the consequence of their interventionist policies and not our doing," reads a voice in the video showing United Airlines flight 175 hitting the World Trade Center. The video, entitled "Umari Army (6)" was produced by Taliban's official media arm Al-Emara. 

The video was shared with the public by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), and an article about it was published in the NGO's Long War Journal.

In 2001, Mullah Omar Mohammad, a former leader of the Taliban, gave an interview with Voice of America, in which he, too, explained that "America deserved the 9/11 attacks." That interview was published then by The Guardian.

"Everyone is afraid of America and wants to please it," said Omar, as he confirmed that the Taliban would not give up Osama bin Laden. "But Americans will not be able to prevent such acts like the one that has just occurred because America has taken Islam hostage.

"America has created the evil that is attacking it," added Omar. "The evil will not disappear even if I die and Osama dies and others die. The US should step back and review its policy. It should stop trying to impose its empire on the rest of the world, especially on Islamic countries."

The "Umari Army (6)" video also includes a statement claiming that the Taliban "shall never accept a single occupying soldier," according to the Journal.

Over 3,000 people died in and as a result of the September 11 attacks, in which hijacked airplanes crashed into New York's World Trade Center and the Pentagon outside Washington, D.C. The crashing of a fourth plane into the capital was thwarted by its passengers, causing it to crash on a field in Pennsylvania instead.

On Saturday night, US President Donald Trump tweeted that he had canceled planned peace negotiations with the Taliban after they admitted to carrying out an attack in Kabul in which a US soldier and 11 others died.

What kind of people would kill so many in order to seemingly strengthen their bargaining position?" wrote Trump. "They didn’t, they only made it worse! If they cannot agree to a ceasefire during these very important peace talks, and would even kill 12 innocent people, then they probably don’t have the power to negotiate a meaningful agreement anyway. How many more decades are they willing to fight?"

Taliban fighters, who now control more territory than at any time since 2001, launched fresh assaults on the northern cities of Kunduz and Pul-e Khumri over the past week, and carried out two major suicide bombings in the capital Kabul.

One of the blasts took the life of US Army Sergeant 1st Class Elis A. Barreto Ortiz, 34, from Puerto Rico, bringing the number of American troops killed in Afghanistan this year to 16.

Time magazine reported last week that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo refused to sign a peace deal with the Taliban.

The deal would not guarantee the continued presence of US counter-terrorism forces to combat al Qaeda, the survival of the pro-US government in Kabul, or even an end to the fighting in Afghanistan, according to officials familiar with the peace negotiations.

"There is no agreement to sign yet. If and when there is an agreement that is approved by all parties, including President Trump and if the Secretary is the appropriate signatory, he will sign it," said State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus to the magazine.

"No one speaks with certainty. None," said one Afghan official who is part of the briefings on the deal. "It is all based on hope. There is no trust. There is no history of trust. There is no evidence of honesty and sincerity from the Taliban."

Insurgent groups continue to negotiate with the United States and have demanded that all foreign forces leave.

The United States ended its combat role in 2014, although 20,000 US and NATO forces remain. The army personnel train and support Afghan troops who are fighting the Taliban. They fear Afghanistan troops will be left vulnerable if the US leaves.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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