By Michael S. Smith II

On 21 April 2015, the Afghan Taliban issued a statement concerning its members’ beheadings of seven soldiers on 10 April 2015 in the Jurm district of Badakhshan province. Although the Taliban considers these actions “contradictory to rules of engagement” defined by Article 21 of the Taliban’s military code of conduct booklet, pursuant to the Taliban’s official investigation of the incident it was determined that the responsible parties were justified in their actions. According to the Taliban’s logic, such actions were permissible in this situation because, during a clash weeks earlier in the Warduj district of Badakhshan province, “soldiers of the stooge regime” allegedly “mutilated” members of the Taliban by shooting them “in the face to the point they were unrecognizable in violation of all principles of Islam and humanity as well as all established rules of war.”

An English-language version of the message was posted to a website used by the group to promote its official statements,, and the full text of the statement is available below. That the Afghan Taliban has not been designated a foreign terrorist organization by the US State Department may account for why USG entities with cyber offensive authorities have not taken this website down. (For additional perspective on this issue, see “The Afghan Taliban: A Terrorist Group That Isn’t,” accessible via DOWNRANGE here.)

While the practice of beheading individuals has become a hallmark of the Islamic State’s terrorist tactics, other jihadist groups have employed this tactic to terrorize both their near and far enemies. For instance, an elite counterintelligence entity comprised of members of al-Qa’ida and affiliated elements that was formed to identify spies who may have been supporting the successful USIC-managed drone campaign targeting senior al-Qa’ida officials in Afghanistan and Pakistan — members of which were eventually dispatched to Syria via Iran to form the group of senior al-Qa’ida advisers in the Syrian Jihad which US officials have referred to as the “Khorasan Group” — is known to have beheaded villagers to send a signal about the consequences one might encounter for aiding al-Qa’ida’s enemies.

Terrorist groups which self-identify as “Islamic” are not the only self-proclaimed stewards of Islam who employ the practice of public beheadings to either instill fear, or command respect for and adherence to their interpretations of sharia. In 2014, as the Islamic State captured attention of news organizations by distributing videos that documented the beheadings of its hostages, the government of Saudi Arabia was ramping up a public executions campaign that involved the beheadings of more than 50 people that year who were found guilty of offenses that ranged from cannabis distribution to dabbling in sorcery.

Regarding the Beheading of Several Soldiers in Badakhshan

A few days earlier reports were published about the beheading of soldiers after fighting took place between Mujahideen and the Kabul administration in Badakhshan province. Following the incident, the Islamic Emirate launched its usual investigation as part of its Islamic and humanitarian responsibility. During this process the following information was obtained which we want to share with the world and our countrymen:

On 2nd of Wrai of the ongoing solar calendar (20/03/2015), a clash took place between Mujahideen and soldiers of the stooge regime in Badakhshan province’s Warduj district during which the enemy suffered heavy losses while a few Mujahideen were also martyred. The invader nurtured mercenaries brutally shot the martyrs in the face to the point they were unrecognizable in violation of all principles of Islam and humanity as well as all established rules of war. The incident infuriated both the Mujahideen and the local people.

About three weeks later on 23rd of Wrai of the ongoing solar calendar (10/04/2015), another clash took place between Mujahideen and soldiers of the stooge regime in Jurm district of the same province, once again causing the enemy heavy corporeal and material losses. But since the stooge regime troops had mutilated Mujahideen in the previous engagement in violation of all Islamic and human norms therefore a few Mujahideen in revenge beheaded 7 regime soldiers on their own.

While the Islamic Emirate considers both of the incidents contradictory to rules of engagement however it places the blame of both grisly incidents squarely on the invaders and their hirelings because they were the first ones to commit such an act. Everybody is aware that the invaders have previously set fire to bodies of martyrs and in violation of all principles of humanity, have even urinated on bodies of others, provoking reactions worldwide.

Even this time if the mercenaries of the invaders had not mutilated bodies of the martyrs by shooting them in the faces then the Mujahideen would not have retaliated in such an irresponsible manner.

The Islamic Emirate once again asks its Mujahideen to strictly follow Islamic rules of engagement and booklet of military code of conduct issued by the Islamic Emirate. Article no. 21 this military code of conduct booklet of the Islamic Emirate states: (21 – If the blood of a criminal becomes lawful Shariah wise, and the death penalty is handed, be it to a spy or other criminal, he must be shot with a rifle, and its filming is prohibited).

The Mujahideen must be vigilant that our Jihad is for attaining the pleasure of Allah Almighty and the establishment of an Islamic government. Therefore we must never act in a way which becomes a cause of displeasure of Allah Almighty, contradicting rules of the Islamic Emirate and disobedience of the Emir (leader).

No matter how many boundaries of Islam and humanity the invaders and their mercenaries cross against the Mujahideen, we however must act in the framework of Islam. The transgressions of the invaders and their lackeys must never provoke us into crossing our principles.

In the end, all the Mujahideen must remember that even the smallest breach of Islamic principles withholds divine help and great victories. And all the Mujahideen must remember that after this if anyone acts contradictory to the military code of conduct of the Islamic Emirate, they will definitely be punished in light of sublime Shariah law.

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan

02/07/1436 Hijri Lunar

02/01/1394 Hijri Solar 21/04/2015 Gregorian

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *