KABUL, AFGHANISTAN – A large group of primarily female protesters in Kabul earlier in September were violently dispersed by the Taliban, who reportedly beat and whipped the protesters and used gun fire to drive the demonstrators away.
Sources say the protest was prompted by the arrival of an infamous Pakistani lieutenant general in Kabul who was reportedly there to meet with Taliban officials.
— Chris 🇺🇸 (@Chris_1791) September 7, 2021
On September 7th, a massive demonstration against the Taliban in Kabul turned violent when protestors were lashed, assaulted with clubs, and chased away by gunfire. The protest was sparked by the presence in Kabul of Pakistani Lt. Gen. Faiz Hameed, director of Pakistan’s notorious Inter-Services Intelligence Agency.
The Pakistani government has a lengthy history of open and clandestine backing for the Taliban. Lt. Gen. Hameed traveled to Kabul for talks with the Taliban leadership, which declared the establishment of an “interim” leadership made up of extreme radicals and blatant terrorists.
Over the weekend, detractors of the Taliban administration allege Pakistani drones and helicopters were used to assist in quashing the resistance movement in Panjshir Valley, an allegation also supported by the Iranian government.
On September 7th, protestors in Kabul waved placards with hashtags and chants like #SanctionPakistan, #StandWithPanjshir, and “Pakistan, Pakistan, Leave Afghanistan,” expressing solidarity for the Panjshir resistance movement.
As they went, several of the protesters were yelling “Freedom, freedom!”
Defying Violence, Women Join in Protest Against the Taliban https://t.co/24mbgEIRwB
— Vinu Mahanthesh G (@iam_mahanthesh) September 7, 2021
Speaking with the New York Times, one of the female organizers of the protest – who went by the pseudonym “Rezai” so as to avoid potential persecution from the Taliban – said the following about the demonstration:
“We invited people using social media platforms. And there were more people than we expected. We are expecting more rallies tonight because people do not want terror and destruction.”
Rezai added that the Taliban have done nothing since taking over Afghanistan, aside from instilling fears and commencing attacks on various people:
“The Taliban have had no achievements since they have taken power except for killing people and spreading terror. So it was an utterly self-motivated protest, and we just coordinated and invited people to participate.”
One of the demonstrators told the Wall Street Journal that they’ll never recognize the Taliban as an official government, saying that they’re nothing more than a “puppet of Pakistan”:
“We must continue our protest against dirty Pakistan, which is interfering in Afghanistan. Why is Pakistan not being sanctioned? We will never recognize this government, which is a puppet of Pakistan and attacks our people and violates women’s rights and dignity.”
— Duane Hutchins (@DuaneHutchins) September 8, 2021
NBC News quoted another protester from the September 7th demonstration, who voiced their presence as being inspired over the actions taken by the Pakistanis in the Panjshir Valley:
“I have come today to ask why Pakistan is destroying Panjshir. I am from Panjshir. People need to express their anger, men and women, they must not stay silent.”
At first, the protestors were primarily women who gathered outside the Pakistani embassy, but men soon joined them. The Taliban began assaulting protesters with whips, clubs, and rifle butts when the demonstrators entered central Kabul. Although gunshots were fired off – some shattering windows in the city – no deaths were recorded from the protest.
A report from the Associated Press noted that some journalists that were covering the protest found themselves being harassed, beaten and even detained by the Taliban. One of the detained journalists with the Associated Press about the experience:
“This is the third time I have been beaten by the Taliban covering protests. I won’t go again to cover a demonstration. It’s too difficult for me.”
TOLO News also reported that one of their own employees were detained for several hours while covering the demonstration, writing the following on Twitter:
“TOLOnews cameraperson Wahid Ahmadi was released after being detained for nearly three hours by the Taliban. His camera–with its footage of the protests he was covering–has been returned.”
TOLOnews cameraperson Wahid Ahmadi was released after being detained for nearly three hours by the Taliban. His camera–with its footage of the protests he was covering–has been returned.#TOLOnews pic.twitter.com/lwB7aEReEZ
— TOLOnews (@TOLOnews) September 7, 2021
One Taliban official who spoke with the Wall Street Journal claimed that he wasn’t aware of any protests in Kabul, and said that everyone in Afghanistan is “happy” and welcome the Taliban as their new government:
“In all of Afghanistan, everyone is happy, and the situation is better day by day. All the people of Afghanistan want this government.”
Do you want to join our private family of first responders and supporters? Get unprecedented access to some of the most powerful stories that the media refuses to show you. Proceeds get reinvested into having active, retired and wounded officers, their families and supporters tell more of these stories. Click to check it out.
Sources: Biden administration – not the Taliban – behind charter planes filled with Americans being held up in Afghanistan
(Originally reported September 6th, 2021)
AFGHANISTAN – According to reports, the State Department is reportedly responsible for the holdups that are blocking charter flights from taking off in Afghanistan – which are being used to evacuate both Americans and vulnerable Afghans.
"If one life is lost as a result of this, the blood is on the White House's hands. The blood is on their hands," – Rescuer on the ground in Afghanistan. https://t.co/YVhGxRhCOP
— Lance Wallnau (@lancewallnau) September 6, 2021
A recent report from Fox News notes that the State Department is behind the delays impacting the evacuation efforts of Americans, SIV and green card holders in Afghanistan, which those efforts are being organized by various groups utilizing private aircrafts to get them out of the country.
Individuals involved with the evacuation efforts spoke with Fox News, some anonymously for obvious reasons, saying that this isn’t a stall being enacted by the Taliban:
“If one life is lost as a result of this, the blood is on the White House’s hands. The blood is on their hands. It is not the Taliban that is holding this up – as much as it sickens me to say that – it is the United States government.”
Rick Clay, who runs a group called Plan B that is involved in evacuation efforts ongoing, also confirmed the aforementioned, saying they’ve been trying to get clearance from the State Department to run flights into Qatar where vulnerable Afghans can be vetted and processed at refugee centers in Doha:
“It is imperative that we get into Doha where there [are] other refugee centers. That is where I’ve asked for clearance.”
While appearing on the podcast Bannon’s War Room, Clay was asked by show host Steve Bannon as to whether the State Department has been helpful or a hindrance in efforts to evacuate Americans and vulnerable Afghans by way of charter flights.
Clay conveyed that the State Department is proving unhelpful, saying the following:
“As of right now they’re not really being helpful. We’ve worked with – my group is called Plan B, it’s Afghan Rescue Crew, we go by ARC for short – and we’ve worked with Pineapple and digital Dunkirk and No One Left Behind and Quiet Professionals and so forth, and also Coalition of Hope.
“We’ve been very successful with getting people out prior to the pullout of American troops from Kabul. Since then, it’s been very difficult – if not impossible – to get our aircraft into and out of Afghanistan for various reasons. And we’ve been working this problem for quite a while, and we now have aircraft that can get in – and are in Afghanistan.”
“I actually have three aircraft on standby to go in, with an improved manifest, the only problem we have is getting landing rights on the outbound leg into several countries. And we’ve contacted many of these countries and they’ll take our aircraft in, but they want assurances from the State Department that they can do it.”
Clay added that it’s not only his outfit that are being delayed by the State Department’s inaction, but also the other groups like Coalition of Hope and other working to help evacuate Americans and vulnerable Afghans:
“It’s not just our efforts that are running into this roadblock, it’s also all the other groups that I just mentioned.”
Bannon went on to ask whether Clay agreed with the framing presented by Rep. Michael McCaul earlier in September, where the Republican representative claimed that the Taliban were effectively holding Americans hostage in Afghanistan.
Clay said that said scenario isn’t the case for the time being, but it could be an issue later down the line if evacuation efforts aren’t carried out quickly:
“We haven’t had that experience yet, the Taliban – and I hate to say it – have been quite cooperative.”
“At some point Mr. Bannon, these people are going to become commodities and they’re going to be used for leverage. And confusion can be your best friend at times and right now there’s a window there that we have where we’re still in that window, but it’s closing.”
Fox News: State Dept blocking private rescue flights from leaving Afghanistan, organizers say: 'Blood is on their hands'.https://t.co/fJXW4DZhWM
— Miami Newscast.. (@Carloslopez0421) September 6, 2021
Clay also spoke with us here at Law Enforcement Today, noting that his efforts have saved thousands so far, but there are still several thousand more that they’re trying to evacuate:
“We’ve helped rescue over 2,000 people. I currently have a manifest of 6,000, many Christians, several hundred Americans, and this morning we were able to get four Americans out.”
The State Department has been running a handful of excuses regarding the lack of clearance for these flights, citing a “lack of air traffic controllers and radar issues,” according to Fox News. Clay received word on September 2nd that the State Department would eventually grant approval for flights once they review the manifest – a process that could take several days.
This is a developing story.
Please follow Law Enforcement Today as we continue to gather further insight into this matter.
Want to make sure you never miss a story from Law Enforcement Today? With so much “stuff” happening in the world on social media, it’s easy for things to get lost.