Tuesday, September 11, 2012
9/11 anniversary: Taliban claim US face 'utter defeat' in Afghanistan
Eleven years ago on Tuesday, almost 3,000 people lost their lives in the worst terror strike on American soil that saw two passenger planes hijacked by al-Qaeda slam into New York's World Trade Center and another into the Pentagon. A fourth plane crashed in a Pennsylvania field.
What followed was a war in Afghanistan, launched over the Taliban's alliance with al-Qaeda.
"The anniversary of 9/11 is approaching America this year at a time when it is facing utter defeat in Afghanistan militarily, politically, economically and in all other facets and it has exhausted all other means through which to prolong its illegal war," said a statement from the Afghan Taliban, the US-based SITE Intelligence Group said on Monday.
The statement, which the Taliban wrote in English and posted on Sunday, goes on to say that the war in Afghanistan "under the pretext of retaliation for the September incident has no legal or ethical" basis, and that Afghans had "no hand" in what happened.
Even though the United States has spent "large amounts of military and economical assets" in the war, "no American is safe in any society today," the statement said.
The Taliban also claimed it was not a threat but vowed to defend its homeland and continue with its "sacred struggle" against "the invaders."
"The Islamic Emirate, on the eleventh anniversary of the September incident, once again calls upon the American officials, its coalition members and its people to halt shedding the blood of the oppressed Afghans under this pretext and to follow the path of sound reasoning instead of tyranny and stupidity."
The war in Afghanistan has steadily lost popular support in the United States.
A growing majority of Americans oppose the US military presence in Afghanistan and support NATO's plan to withdraw most combat forces by the end of 2014.
More than 2,000 US troops have been killed in Afghanistan. Some 77,000 are currently stationed in the country.
In a separate statement, also released Sunday according to SITE, the Taliban accused CIA Director David Petraeus of founding the "Arkabi" militia groups and alleged that he is therefore "directly involved" in killings attributed to them.