Afghanistan’s Taliban appealed yesterday to the Muslim world for donations for their insurgency in a rare move that analysts said was part of their media war.
Complete with telephone hotlines and e-mail addresses, the appeal was posted on a Taliban Web site asking Muslims worldwide to help the rebels in what they say is a jihad against non-Muslim “invaders.”
The Taliban were in power between 1996 and 2001, but were toppled in a US-led invasion after refusing to turn over former al-Qaeda leader in Osama bin Laden, who was wanted by Washington for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on US cities.
Since being ousted, the remnants of the militia have waged a bloody insurgency.
“In the light of Islamic Shariah, all Muslims everywhere are duty-bound to join the jihad with money and soul,” the militant group said.
The Taliban “are still waging legitimate jihad single-handedly with mere help from common sincere Islam-loving masses and is in dire need of financial assistance from the Muslim brothers worldwide for its military and non-military expenditures,” it said.
The appeal appeared to be part of the rebels’ “media war,” a move to show their campaign is supported by the masses, analyst Abdul Waheed Wafa said.
“I think it’s part of the Taliban propaganda war,” said Wafa, director of the Afghanistan Center, a research body at Kabul University. “They are trying to show that their jihad is supported by the people and their funds are coming from the people.”
According to Western and Afghan intelligence, most Taliban funds are generated from Afghanistan’s multibillion-dollar opium production, the raw material for making heroin.
Afghanistan produces more than 90 percent of the world’s opium.