Taliban leaders claimed a jihadi victory following President Barack Obama’s decision to release five of their top leaders held at Guantanamo Bay, in exchange for one U.S soldier who walked off his base in 2009.
The five leaders were “released due to the benevolence of Allah Almighty and the sacrifices of the heroic and courageous Mujahidin of the Islamic Emirate,” which is formal name of the Taliban’s movement, said the June 1 statement.
Obama described the trade as a “recovery” of the U.S. soldier. But the Taliban’s press release described it as a trade.
“To get the preceding five heads released, it is worth mentioning that the Islamic Emirate handed over the American soldier to the US government who was captive with us approximately for the last five years,” read the statement.
On May 30, the Taliban promised to continue its jihad until all U.S. forces are out of Afghanistan.
“The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan has explicitly manifested its stance on behalf of its pious masses about the US occupation i.e. even the presence of a single American soldier inside Afghanistan is unacceptable for our nation and masses,” the statement continued.
“Jihad is obligatory against them and our people will continue their legitimate resistance and Jihad against them,” it added.
The Taliban also gloated over Obama’s deicsion to retreat from Afghanistan in 2016.
In 2001, “we had told the Americans that they will not benefit from this felony, rather it will increase their miseries. But they did not pay any heed and now they are not only stuck into the longest and humiliating war of their history but also internationally their foes are increased; their military, political and economic majesty and supremacy are demolished; rather their decline and deterioration started from the start of this futile war,” said the May 30 statement.
The Taliban also reiterated the demand that all of their imprisoned jihadis be released.
“The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan is determined to get all the Mujahidin prisoners released as soon as possible,” read the June 1 statement.
The Taliban said they expect Western legal groups, such as ACLU, to help in their campaign.
“In this regard, we expect all the legal and human rights societies particularly the United Nations to share and accelerate their efforts with Afghan people and the Islamic Emirate on the basis of human sympathy so that all the incarcerated people are freed and their basic legal and human rights are safeguarded and they could lead an independent and peaceful life of their own accord,” said the statement.