On the first anniversary of their takeover of Afghanistan, the Taliban celebrated by the U.S. embassy in Kabul on Monday, as some of them brandished the regime’s white banners or photos of Jalaluddin Haqqani, the founder of the terrorist Haqqani Network who aided the founding of the Al Qaeda terrorist network.

The Haqqani terrorist network had a close relationship with Osama bin Laden, whose Al Qaeda training centers for Afghan Mujahideen were organized with the protection of the network; reports indicated that the network aided Al Qaeda’s escape during the U.S. battle at Tora Bora in 2001. Al Qaeda was able to escape from Afghanistan to safety in Pakistan.

Government spokesman Bilal Karimi stated on Monday, “It’s the day of victory and happiness for the Afghan Muslims and people. It is the day of conquest and victory of the white flag,” The Daily Mail reported.

The Washington Post noted in September 2021 that a June 2021 U.N. report called the Haqqani network the “primary liaison between the Taliban and Al-Qaida,” adding that its leader, Sirajuddin Haqqani, who ordered various suicide bombers to commit acts murdering hundreds of people and was serving as Afghanistan’s acting interior minister, was “assessed to be a member of the wider Al-Qaida leadership, but not of the Al-Qaida core leadership.”

Asked whether U.S. intelligence should have imagined the rapid takeover by the Taliban prior to last year’s disastrous withdrawal of American troops ordered by President Joe Biden, Lieutenant General Ben Hodges, former Commander General, U.S. Army Europe, responded, “I’m reluctant to point the blame at any of our intelligence services, and I have to say, it was not just U.S. intelligence that was here; we had intelligence networks working together from multiple countries. Some of the best intelligence agencies in the world; we got this wrong.”

“It was less about the Taliban; it was more about we failed to fully appreciate the lack of willingness for Afghan people to defend themselves for their own government,” he asserted. “The final mistake was … that Pakistan was never an ally. We, the U.S., tried to convince ourselves that Pakistan was an ally; we were not willing to do what it took to make sure that they would not support the Taliban or give then safe haven; we were not willing to do that, and we paid the price.’

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