Exclusive - Sayyaf to Asharq Al-Awsat: I Know Who Killed Azzam

Exclusive - Sayyaf to Asharq Al-Awsat: I Know Who Killed Azzam

Tuesday, 20 February, 2018 - 08:30
Abd Rab Al-Rasul Sayyaf, president of the Afghan Islamic Union (REUTERS/Omar Sobhani)
Riyadh- Nasser al-Haqbani
Abd Rab Al-Rasul Sayyaf, president of the Afghan Islamic Union, said that he knew who killed Abdullah Azzam, the historic leader of the Arab fighters in Afghanistan, and would reveal the killer’s name soon.

He also described the Taliban office in the Qatari capital as an “aggression” and accused Iran of supporting the terrorist group.

In an exclusive interview with Asharq Al-Awsat, Sayyaf said he had a lot of information regarding the Jihad in Afghanistan, including the killing of Azzam.

“I will raise the curtain on time, in anticipation of the emergence of new sedition,” he said.

He added that two months before Azzam’s assassination in 1989, “I sent him to one of the safe fronts, so far away from the hidden hands, but when he returned to Peshawar, they killed him.”

As for the Taliban office in Qatar, Sayyaf said: “Afghanistan has a government, which is known to everyone; so we expect all countries to deal with that government.”

He continued: “There is no need to give an opportunity to those who want to raise the flag of violation and aggression against the Afghan people.”

The head of the Afghan Islamic Union was born in the city of Paghman in Kabul in 1944. His colleagues in the Afghan Jihad included Osama bin Laden, but he confronted the Taliban when Kabul was occupied in September 1996.

Asked whether ISIS was present in his country, along with the remaining members of Al-Qaeda, Sayyaf agreed, noting that ISIS in Afghanistan was an extension of the Taliban movement.

“Unfortunately, these groups, which dealt violently with civilians and killed children, women and the elderly, gave an incorrect image of Islam. It hurts us to see that many of the actions were adopted by those organizations under the umbrella of Islam,” he said.

“They are the enemies of Islam and the enemies of Afghanistan… They don’t want Kabul to be safe and stable; so they harass us and don’t allow us to rest or even think about building a state,” the president of the Afghan Islamic Union added.

Sayyaf accused Iran of supporting the Taliban terrorist group’s activities in his country.

“Iran does not deny communicating with Taliban, as there are reports that talk about this support and the presence of some Taliban members in Iran,” he stated.

Commenting on the presence of an office for Taliban in Doha, Sayyaf underlined that he was against the presence of the group in the Qatari capital.

“We are opposed to the presence of this office in Qatar. It does not represent the different categories of the organization... decisions issued by this office are not final,” he remarked.

Asked about the assassination of Abdullah Azzam, the leader of the Arab fighters in Afghanistan, in November 1989, Sayyaf said: “Abdullah Azzam was a man who did not cause us problems; he did not carry out acts contrary to jihad or the Mujahideen, and was explicit in his statements.”

“I have many facts and evidence about a number of jihad secrets, including the killing of Azzam,” he stressed, noting that he would unveil the truth at the appropriate time.

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