Afghanistan’s Taliban plan to abduct and kill more nationals from foreign countries whose troops serve under NATO and the U.S. military in the country, a spokesman for the Islamic movement warned on Monday.
The vow comes just days after the Taliban released 19 South Korean hostages after their government struck a deal that critics said sets a dangerous precedent that could spur more kidnappings and make life even more dangerous for foreigners.
“We consider it (kidnapping) as an arm that can help us in imparting a blow to the enemy,” Taliban spokesman Qari Mohammad Yousuf told Reuters by telephone from an undisclosed location.
“Kidnapping … and killing of (nationals) of those countries who have come for the annihilation of the nation of Afghanistan, are works which suppress the enemy,” he added.
That shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. Once a strategy works, a clever enemy will keep going to the well until they find that it’s dry.
A senior Taliban commander said on condition of anonymity at the weekend that the deal also included a ransom payment of more than $20 million, which would be used to buy weapons and fund suicide attacks.
Thus far I have not seen any confirmation that a cash ransom was paid as part of securing the Korean hostages’ release. If true, the claim makes the South Koreans’ capitulation to the Afghan terrorists that much more damaging to the west’s cause.
Both the South Korean government and Taliban spokesman Yousuf deny a ransom was paid but when asked about the idea earlier in the week, a spokesman for South Korea’s president did not answer directly, saying only that the government had done what was necessary.
For the sake of the troops in Afghanistan and the people there who support freedom and democracy I hope that’s true.
Regardless of whether the Taliban were given a bribe to release the hostages or not, the Koreans have placed more people in jeopardy simply by negotiating with known killers. Ironically, any remaining Korean aid workers are probably at the top of the Taliban’s to-kidnap list since the terrorists now know that the South Korean government can be broken. For their own sakes it would be best if they returned home.
Hopefully those released will recover from their ordeal. Another non-surprise about the hostages’ ordeal is that:
Some of the South Korean Christian aid workers held hostage by Afghanistan’s Taliban said they were beaten for refusing to convert to Islam and protecting female captives, a hospital chief said Monday.
“We found through medical checks that some male hostages were beaten,” Cha Seung-Gyun told reporters after the 19 freed aid workers — 14 women and five men — underwent examinations at a hospital outside Seoul.
The hospital chief said two male hostages, Je Chang-Hee and Song Byung-Woo, were beaten or threatened with death whey they refused to move out of a dugout shelter and leave some of their female colleagues behind.
Happily there was no evidence that any of the female hostages were sexually assaulted. This is perhaps the only good thing to come out of the ordeal that began when the church group ignored foreign ministry warnings against going to Afghanistan.
Personally, I admire their courage for undertaking the trip. Their desire to do what is right and spread Christian charity is laudable. But that more people were as brave, myself included.
This aside, the episode serves to point out, once more, the nature of the terrorist enemy that the west is fighting. The Islamists are utterly ruthless men who believe completely in their cause and because they are convinced that what they are doing is right, nothing this side of the grave will turn them from their path.
As I’ve said before, their depth of belief is infinitely greater than that of the west’s previous totalitarian adversary, the Soviet Union. The Russians did not, not deep down in their souls, believe in their own shtick. They couldn’t, because Soviet socialism had a bottom line to make and too many people knew that the numbers were all lies.
The new Islamic reactionaries of today do not suffer from the same weakness (though one could argue that there is nothing new about this beyond the boldness with which they reveal themselves) in that absolutely nothing beyond them.
According to Daniel Pipes, this includes altering the Qur’an itself to lend credence to the notion that Jerusalem is a holy city of Islam in order to justify their hatred of the Jewish people, the Israeli state, and countries who support it.
Evidently nothing is sacred.
Cross-posted at The Van Der Galiën Gazette.