August 20, 2021
-New York Post
After a humiliating swift takeover of Afghanistan amid President Biden’s botched troop withdrawal, Taliban leaders and fighters are now rubbing it in America’s face — showing off their new uniforms and gear taken from US special forces stockpiles provided to the Afghan army.
Khalil Haqqani, a designated global terrorist subject to a $5 million reward, was even photographed Friday preaching to devotees in a packed mosque while clutching an American assault rifle and surrounded by enforcers in US military gear.
Haqqani — whose nephew, Sirajuddin Haqqani, has been named as a possible president — flaunted an American-made M4 rifle, the weapon of war that is standard issue in the US military.
Around him, his security troops carry similar weaponry — with one fully decked out in US military gear that had been given to the Afghan army to hold back the militants that ultimately seized it.
Some of those kneeling while listening attentively were also pictured with assault weapons lying in front of them during prayers.
The well-armored prayer group appears to be alarming proof of just how many US weapons the Islamic militants have swiped since taking over the country. The US gave the Afghan military a war chest worth an estimated $28 billion in weaponry between 2002 and 2017.
Taliban fighters are even flagrantly rubbing it in America’s face — with propaganda videos showing members of a special unit decked out in US special forces gear.
Members of the so-called Badri 313 Brigade have been featured in the ISIS-style propaganda footage clad in what appears to be US military outfits, ditching their traditional turbans for the distinctive special forces helmets with mounts for night-vision goggles, The Sun reported.
Rather than robes, they are dressed head to toe in camos and bullet-proof vests – and instead of slinging their signature AK-47s over their shoulders, the wannabe American operatives are seen clutching US-made M4 and M-16 assault rifles.
To complete their transformation, some of the militants are reportedly seen sporting reflective wraparound shades favored by US troops, including Navy SEALs, Army Delta Force commandos and Marines.
Khalil Haqqani is one of several family members leading the brutal Haqqani Network, which the US branded a terrorist group in 2012 — and which has emerged at the frontlines of the Taliban’s leadership.
Another relative, Anas Hannaqi, has emerged one of the group’s leading spokesman, and was involved in meeting Afghan President Hamid Karzai Wednesday to discuss setting up a government.
Khalil’s nephew, Sirajuddin Haqqani, is one of three deputies to the group’s supreme leader who was identified this week as a possible president of the new government.
The Haqqanis have been linked to some of the most brutal crimes under the Taliban, including kidnapping Americans, assassinations and even a plot to kill Karzai when he was still president.
Khalil has also been linked to Al Qaeda, according to the United Nations Security Council — raising fears that the Taliban will once again harbor and foster terrorists.