The following are excerpts from an interview with the new Taliban military commander, Mansour Dadallah, which aired on Al-Jazeera TV on June 17, 2007.
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"Allah Willing, You Will Be Hearing A Lot About Martyrdom-Seeking Operations, Which Will Continue"
Interviewer: "How were you chosen to be the military commander of the Taliban movement in Afghanistan?"
Mansour Dadallah: "When Mullah Dadallah was still alive, he instructed me to carry out his mission if he was martyred. We had been together since we fought together on the fronts and until the end. Mullah Dadallah taught me a lot, because I grew up before his eyes. Therefore, he chose me as his assistant, even when he was still alive. I represented him in many missions, and after his martyrdom, the Emir of the Believers appointed me to replace him."
Interviewer: "How do you maintain contact with Mullah Muhammad 'Omar and the Taliban leadership?"
Mansour Dadallah: "With regard to the military commanders, I meet them face to face, and discuss different issues, including military tactics - especially new ones. Then we ask the mujahideen to carry them out, having drawn up the appropriate plans for the battles. This is with regard to the military leaders, whom I meet face to face. As for the Emir of the Believers, I keep in touch with him through letters, tapes, and other means."
"The tactics we use are military ones. We have decided not to reveal them to anybody. We are continuing to devise more tactics. As for the declaration by the Emir of the Believers about the Spring Offensive - it has already started, and you can see its beginnings. In the Greche region, for example, everybody knows that the American tanks are in flames. There is fierce resistance in that region against the American and NATO forces."
"One of our military objectives is to expand the war to all of Afghanistan. We also plan to engage all the foreign, American, and NATO forces in the fighting, wherever they are located. We will attack in these regions. We want our attacks to continue throughout Afghanistan. This is what we are hoping for."
Interviewer: "Commander Dadallah was known to be a believer in suicide and sacrifice attacks. How do you, Mansour Dadallah, want to be known?"
Mansour Dadallah: "I pray that people will know me too for this. I helped him prepare martyrdom-seeking operations, and even now we are approached by a huge number of martyrdom-seekers. We have taken down their names. Allah willing, you will be hearing a lot about martyrdom-seeking operations, which will continue."[...]
"I Bring the Good Tidings to All Muslims Around the World - That Sheikh Osama Bin Laden is Alive, Active, and Healthy"
Mansour Dadallah: "Allah be praised, Osama bin Laden is alive and well. In his last interview, my brother told you that Osama bin Laden was alive and in good health, and that he had planned and supervised the Baghram attack. I bring the good tidings to all Muslims around the world that Sheikh Osama bin Laden is alive, active, and healthy, and he is not neglecting his tasks.
"The most recent proof that Osama bin Laden is alive and well is that he sent me a letter of condolence after my brother's martyrdom, and advised me to follow in the footsteps of my brother, Mullah Dadallah. Osama bin Laden also appealed to the Muslims to follow Mullah Dadallah's path because he was a mujahid, and Allah granted him [the martyrdom] he was hoping for. Allah willing, his blood will be like fire upon the enemies, and we will have great conquests. Therefore, the letter by bin Laden proves that he is alive."
Interviewer: "What, in your opinion, are the reasons preventing him from showing himself?"
Mansour Dadallah: "These are simply military tactics. That's what Sheikh Osama bin Laden prefers, not to show himself. If he did appear in the media and meet with people, he might expose himself to danger. Sheikh Osama bin Laden's presence among the Muslims is an honor for us all, and we do not want him to disappear. We do not want to lose him. I also ask him to refrain from meeting anyone, and to remain in hiding. I ask him to continue to issue his instructions to the commanders, so that Al-Qaeda will continue to be active in Afghanistan, and will continue its activity throughout the world."
"I Have a Message to the Afghan People and to all Muslims: They Must Continue to Wage Jihad, Wherever They May be - Whether... of the Pen, the Tongue, the Sword, or Money"
Interviewer: "Is there anything new with regard to the media strategy of the Taliban?"
Mansour Dadallah: "Allah be praised, the Taliban has developed greatly in this regard. Allah willing, we will soon launch our own radio station. Allah willing, all the people will listen to our news broadcasts, and to our recordings of our military operations."
"Therefore, I have a message to the Afghan people and to all Muslims: They must continue to wage jihad, wherever they may be - whether it is jihad of the pen, of the tongue, of the sword, or of money. What's important is that they continue with the jihad, because it is an individual duty incumbent upon all Muslims. We were not ordered to wage jihad only in modern times. We were ordered to wage jihad after the fall of Andalusia. Jihad will remain an individual duty incumbent upon us, until we regain Andalusia and all the countries occupied by the infidels."
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