Afghanistan: the Taliban became Europe’s first supplier of heroin

A Taliban fighter remains at a checkpoint near Bamiyan, Afghanistan, on December 24, 2021. REUTERS / Ali Khara
A Taliban fighter remains at a checkpoint near Bamiyan, Afghanistan, on December 24, 2021. REUTERS / Ali Khara

With the total withdrawal of US troops ordered by the Biden administration in late August 2021, the Islamist group Taliban regained power in Kabul after twenty yearss since the United States defeated them militarily in what Washington called the “global war on terror.” Today the equation of forces on the ground is clearly in favor of the jihadist group that implemented sharia (Islamic law), dominating the country and managing the world’s largest heroin traffic to Europe and the United States.

Despite reports from European intelligence agencies that have defused the Afghan situation. Germany recently denounced that from September 1, 2021 to December 31 of the same year, the trafficking of heroin increased by 70%, which shows the negative impact that the return to power of the Islamist group has had in Afghanistan .

The report from Germany’s interior ministry was released this week in a magazine publication. Der sppiegel which broadly develops the dangers and influence of jihadist narco-terrorism from the international perspective by virtue of the Taliban’s relations with other regional terrorist organizations operating from Central Asia and the inner Arab Islamic world as well as in Africa and Europe.

Germany’s concern has been transferred to the European Union (EU) security office and is fundamentally related to the evolution of the relationship between the Taliban and Al-Qaida (“La Base” in Spanish), but New relationships between the group and other narco-terrorist organizations are not ruled out. This last aspect is extremely relevant even for Washington since, contrary to what the West may think, theologically and ideologically, the Taliban has no affinity with organizations inspired by the Salafist currents such as the Islamic State (ISIS for its acronym in English) a the one they violently reject, but they do with other Islamist networks that agree with their original ideology.

The ideological and theological base of the Taliban is related to the Deobandi current, a movement originating in India, more precisely from the University of Deoband that made its appearance in the days after its independence from Great Britain; its main characteristic distinguishes the Taliban as a strongly nationalist movement. His initial nationalism was strengthened within the scope of his founding principles on the natural obligation that every Muslim has to carry out jihad in all possible ways to combat any foreign presence, that obligation extends to any Islamic territory in defense of other Muslims, be it of the country that was.

The Deobandi current demands in its basic postulate that a Muslim is always and firstly due to the Islamic religion and faith, and then to his country, the followers of Deobandies do not recognize the borders demarcated by international law, they believe that the borders they are delineated by the Ummah (universal Islamic community) and never by geographical borders. In a broad sense, the ideological current that characterizes them is the conviction that true Islam is the original from the times of the Prophet Mohammad and that Sharia is the law that facilitates the just normative application.

A Taliban patrol in a file image.  EFE / EPA / STRINGER
A Taliban patrol in a file image. EFE / EPA / STRINGER

The Taliban were influenced from their origin by the Deobandi current as well as by the Pakistani madrassas (religious schools), but also by some ideas of the Wahhabi current. The latter has been the door that opened the way to the strong alliance with Al-Qaida for the last 25 years.

Thus, since Osama Bin Laden -the neutralized- leader of Al-Qaida decided to settle in Afghanistan in the mid-1990s, pledging allegiance to Mullah Omar (supreme leader of the Taliban group) by contributing money, arms and mujahideen, the alliance between both that had already been consolidated since the victory in the war against the Soviet occupation of the country, although the Taliban did not exist as such at that time and they were known as Islamic mujahideen who fought the invasion of the ex-USSR, grew and strengthened .

This alliance of the Taliban and Al-Qaida would later brutally emerge on the international scene with the execution of the most shocking terrorist coup of all time: the attack on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001; which resulted in the United States intervening militarily in Afghanistan for more than 20 years.

Washington’s retaliatory plan for the attack on its territory was to overthrow the Taliban government and it was quickly successful. However, putting the events of late August 2021 in perspective, and given the disorderly US withdrawal from Kabul, the final result of the Western alliance’s military intervention allows us to see that the objectives of having gone there failed. In the last 20 years of military intervention in Afghanistan, Al-Qaida has not been defeated nor has the alliance between it and the Taliban been neutralized. This negative aspect in the political-military field becomes more evident when the global scenario related to terrorism and drug trafficking is observed, since today there are many more Islamist organizations than twenty years ago and the expansion of jihadist terrorism clearly shows operational capacities. that these groups have to constitute threats of great danger to regional and international security from Central Asia, through the Middle East, Africa, Western Europe and the West in general.

The chain of errors in the fight against terrorism and drug trafficking in that region of the globe occurred when Washington acceded to the Taliban’s request to exclude the Afghan government authorities from the talks of the agreement signed in Doha on February 29, 2020. In doing so, the Taliban neutralized the little legitimacy available to the Afghan government, established in 2001 after its defeat. Regarding that Doha agreement, Washington reported that it aimed to establish “points of convergence” between the United States and the Taliban to facilitate talks between the different Afghan tribes and the Taliban itself. This plan resulted in another failure that did not achieve any progress. the Taliban refused to share power with the tribes and crouched waiting for the right moment to seize full power and exercise it without any partner, completely ignoring the local tribes.

Another unfulfilled central point of the talks that led to the Doha agreement referred to the terrorist threat. The Taliban pledged to prevent Afghanistan from once again becoming a regional terrorist sanctuary and not to shelter any terrorist organization, specifically Al-Qaida, as well as to combat and neutralize any network that represents a threat to the security of the United States and its regional partners. . Despite having agreed to this, The group did not take any action to reject Al-Qaida and its historical relations continued unchanged, even narrowing between September and December 2021, so Al-Qaida is present today in at least 3 Afghan provinces according to reports from European intelligence agencies. The organization – allegedly led by the Egyptian Ayman Al-Zawahiri, despite the versions of his death from kidney failure in 2019 – is entrenched in the southern and eastern region of the country.

This complex scenario leads Western security agencies to consider that Afghanistan is playing an important and highly dangerous role not only as a threat of serious terrorist attacks by jihadist groups sheltered by the Taliban against Western capitals, but in the scarce four months that have elapsed since the group established the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan it has become the largest exporter and supplier of heroin to Europay has shown the ability to circumvent border and customs controls in an alarming and surprising way.


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Helen Hernandez is our best writer. Helen writes about social news and celebrity gossip. She loves watching movies since childhood. Email: Phone : +1 281-333-2229

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