Taliban: A Government of Spies
The 19th century Afghan ruler, Abdur Rahman Khan, was known as the ‘Iron Man‘ due to his many killings, dictatorship, and bloodshed. His name is associated with death, slaughter, and genocide in history. Both he and the Taliban government came to power through agreements with foreign superpowers. To gain authority and influence the illiterate and religious masses, they both pretended to emphasize religion and claimed to represent God on earth. Additionally, they share many other similarities, one of the most prominent being the use of spying and forcing the masses to spy. This has become a common tactic used by the Taliban, following in the footsteps of Abdul Rahman Khan after a century.
Today, reliable media reports indicate that in major cities such as Kabul, Herat, Kandahar, and Balkh, the intelligence department of the Taliban regime is forcing local people, drivers, and even children to act as spies in order to identify and suppress their opponents. It appears that the Taliban is using every possible means to interfere in the private lives of people and create a sense of insecurity. This strategy is reminiscent of the legacy of Abdur Rahman Khan, who forced hundreds of thousands of people to act as spies and whose government was founded on the basis of espionage. In other words, the Taliban is using the same policy to maintain control over society. Reliable media sources also show that people are unable to complain against the Taliban, and the public believes that the Taliban‘s spies are everywhere, leading to fear of arrest and imprisonment. The common thread between Abdul Rahman‘s government and the Taliban is the use of fear, surveillance, and insecurity, followed by repressive forces.
For years, the Taliban‘s senior commanders and political leaders have been trained in espionage by the intelligence organizations of countries around the world. Now that they are in power, they are using their knowledge to control society. They are also training young people in the community to become spies, in order to strengthen their presence. Reports from Australian journalist John Pilger show that more than 100,000 Muslim fighters were trained by the CIA and MI6 intelligence organizations, including the Taliban leaders, who were part of the first generation of global jihadists led by Osama bin Laden. Now, these terrorists are ruling Afghanistan under a secret agreement and through an open violent strategy.
Initial reports indicate that the Taliban have coerced people from various social classes, including university students and traders in major cities, to act as spies. To begin their strategy, the Taliban are primarily forcing women and children to spy. Tajiks, Hazaras, and Uzbeks are among the spies tasked with providing information about the private lives of people. Taking advantage of the economic crisis in the country, they have even bribed some. In addition, these professional spies are attempting to recruit and train new spies among the population in order to control the country in a repressive and oppressive manner. This method of political management of a pluralistic society reflects the fear of the Taliban leaders and demonstrates their unstable and illegitimate regime, which has led them to recruit street children and send spies to classrooms and between cities and villages to arrest and suppress any potential opposition. The fear is so deep that the Taliban even arrested and imprisoned a university professor who gave books to students in Kabul.
It can be concluded that the Taliban‘s main strategies are militarization, espionage, creating insecurity, and spreading fear. The leaders and commanders of these groups have been using camps and organizations to conscript people, train spies, and commit crimes. They view Afghanistan as a place to train spies and monitor people‘s lives. The Taliban government is led by political mullahs who do not recognize the diversity of Afghanistan and force people, even children, to spy for them.