From Algeria, To The Valley Of Peshawar, Onwards To The Afghan Mountains For Jihad

Adam Fitzgerald
22 min readNov 10, 2020

“Just because you are part of a particular group doesn’t mean that you are better than the people. Just because you read a particular book doesn’t mean that you are better than the people. There is some good with the Ikhwan, and there is some good with the Tabligh, and there is some good with the Salafiyyah; every one of them has a portion of the good, so, try — if you are able — to collect all of the good from these groups. They used to study from a large group of the scholars, so, his Hadith instructor is different from his Tafsir instructor , and his instructor in spiritual nurturing is different from his Arabic language instructor. Take from the Tabligh their manners…and imagine if we were to follow their path in respecting the people, and their manners with the scholars… The Tabligh have very good speech, as they convey what they say and work magic on the hearts with their manners, and cause any envy one might have against them to vanish. Take from the Ikhwan their historical movements and revolutionary ideas, and take from the Salafiyyah their beliefs. Collect within yourself all that is good, become a student, and do not restrict the truth to your own shaykh… Take from this person, and take from that person; respect the people, and give them the credit they are due, and put them in their proper categories.”

Abdullah Yusuf Azzam, from a khutbah entitled ‘an-Nas Asnaf’ (People Are of Various Types), given on September 26, 1986

The Khyber Pass is the key to crossing between Pakistan into Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan located east of the country which borders Logar, Kabul, Kaghman and Kunar provinces. It has a long, illustrious history which witnessed the Muslim invasions of the Indian subcontinent, but from 1979, it was used by Afghan rebel forces travelling to and fro as well as receive armaments from the Pakistan government, under President Zia ul-Haq and Hamid Gul, Pakistan ISI Director-General and 4 star general. Tribal leaders Abdul Rasul Sayyaf, Maulvi Jalaluddin Haqqani, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, Ahmed Shah Massoud, and Mohmmad Yunis Khalis traveled along the Khyber Pass into the vast Peshawar valley, where it was governed under Sayyaf, from there, they would then plan and orchestrate operations against the invading Soviets.

The Arab television and radio stations were functioning non-stop in every cafe, coffee shop and outdoor ledge of desert brown colored homes that had them. While young Afghan and Arab males who had heard the calls by these tribal leaders and a middle aged theologian in Jordan who called on the Arabs to enter the conflict, Abdullah Yusuf Azzam. Azzam had been teaching in Egypt, Jordan and soon Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in Shariah jurisprudence. However, Afghans were quite an insular group led by a polarizing, fractional sect of warring clans who had differences anywhere from theological stances to standards of living. They were not welcoming the idea of foreign Arab fighters into their ranks. They considered Arabs “less experienced” in the art of guerilla warfare and theologically abrasive. Simply just being in the way of the war weary Afghans who have been fighting not just the Soviets but also the communist backed Afghan government under Babrak Kamal, who was appointed as the country’s third Democratic President backed by the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) for which Kamal was a primary leading member of.

However Kamal was less ideologically seclusive than his predecessors, Hafizullah Amin and Muhmmad Nur Taraki. For instance, Karmal reintroduced the old Afghan custom of having an Islamic invocation every time the government issued a proclamation. And institute non-communist bloc members to work in the highest positions of government. However, it was ultimately the Soviets who ran the country and it’s government. The Pashtuns didn’t have much “agreement” with a communist socialist invader, the country’s capital, Kabul, was under Soviet rule. Hekmatyar and Sayyaf began constructing camps for Afghans to train in Peshawar. The Hekmatyar group, Hezb-i-Islami, were the largest Afghan clan in the region, dominating many others, even far more than Sayyaf’s Tanzi-e Dahwat-e Islami. Non-profit organizations (NGO) began funneling money to Pakistan, as well as the Pakistan ISI who began training Afghans and their officers in combat situations. tens of millions of dollars from foreign NGO’s, Saudi donors and of course, The CIA, Pakistan ISI and British MI6, as well as Israeli Mossad.

Pakistan President, Zia ul-Haq, had every reason to start military training to the Afghan rebel forces, he feared the communist bloc could very well collapse Afghanistan, which would threaten the Islamic Sunni community of Islamabad and then Jalalabad, Peshawar and Rawalpindi. Thus the Pakistan intelligence services began funneling arms and funding to the many Afghan factions. Abdullah Anas, an Algerian born scholar would become a large influence with the Mujahideen fighters in Afghanistan. While in Algeria he became aware of the Tablighi Jamaat, an Islamic missionary movement in which he thought of them to be “politically immature” and “unrealistic”. However, Egypt would send many teachers and advisors to the country in the 1970’s many of them with direct links to the Muslim Brotherhood. Algeria itself was witnessing a transformation in the country, as the French began forming their own communities and the government under Chadli Bendjedid who witnessed the economy failing due to rapidly falling oil prices, tension rose between elements of the regime who supported Bendjedid’s economic liberalization policies, and those who wanted a return to the statist model.

Abdullah Anas

Anas was hardly a follower of the religious Islamic movement. But he suddenly became interested in the teachings of Abbassi Madani the founder of the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS). Madani brought the ideas of Muhammed Ghazzali and Sayyid Qutb to Anas. Thus bringing Anas closer to learning more about the Islamic movements led by the Muslim Brotherhood and Algerian Islamic Front. Thru vigorous reading, he became aware of socialist led governments oppressing the Arab public in favor of Western styled living and free trade with countries who suppressed Muslims in general. Plus there was the Israel-Palestinian problem. Madani became a great teacher to Anas, and looked to him as his own son. Later in 1990, Abbassi helped organize a general strike and massive peaceful demonstrations in Algiers which was repressed by the armed forces and arrested Madani, in which he would serve 12 years imprisonment. However Anas, was interested in a conflict which now caught his heart and mind, Afghanistan. He had met the great and enigmatic leader Abdullah Azzam in back 1988, in which he would later proclaim to the emir, that the assistance coming from NGO’s should not be the primary source of help for the Afghans, but from the Arab community. This war had to be dominated by the Afghan-Arab community, and not from the foreign stage.

Azzam was close to Anas heart and considreed him his dearest friend and poignant influence in spiritual matters. Azzam had that effect on anyone he met, with his parkol hat and ubiquitous manners, while delivering mesmerizing speeches, which he often held at his home for his students who would visit after classes in Egypt and Jordan. Azzam however found his calling, it was delivered to him by Abdul Rasul Sayyaf in Peshawar. It was Afghanistan, and the global call for an Islamic Jihad. A defensive Jihad, one where he could finally try and collect the minds and hearts of Afghans and Arabs. An impossible task for anyone. But Anas knew if anyone could, it would be Azzam himself. But the divisive political nature in Peshawar was far too great a hurdle for Azzam to overcome, he instead catered to the minds of the young men who arrived by the hundreds from all over the world.

Anas implored that Afghan tribal leaders like Hekmatyar, Haqqani and Khalis had to be at the forefront of economic aid. Not foreign agencies, and not from the Arab community. This was an Afghan war, and must stay that way. For he and Azzam both feared that foreign entities would take advantage of the situation and hijack the conflict to twist it into their version of what the conflict was about. Many Afghan edicts were raised when the Soviets invaded Kabul. They wanted to free the country from secular ideals and so the religious ulema of Afghanistan issued a fatwa (religious decree) while the United Nations issued Resolution 462 against the Soviet invasion on January 9.1980.

Mohammad Najibullah, head of the Khadamat-e-aeta-e-Dawati “State Information Service”, planned to shut down Northern Afghanistan for it was an important route for the Soviets in which relied on some roads and valley for supplies. Namely, Kandahar and Panjshir. However Najibullah and the Siviet KGB later cooperated to fight against the leader of the Northern Alliance, Ahmed Shah Massoud instead.

The Soviet aerial bombings were incessant, sometimes days and even weeks, would the campaigns continue to bomb the Panjshir Valley as Muhajid fighters often times did not come out of their enclaves for fear of being seen and their camp destroyed by the Soviet air assaults. Anas would sometimes lead his command to the roads leading to Kanadar under such tumultuous conditions, mud, rain, wind and the constant air assaults. However Anas always lead by example, and was the first in line leading the way. But the need for combining Afghan forces was the primary solution to the Soviet problem. However, the Afghans were notoriously known for being “sectarian” and often had complaints about joining forces with one another. Anas thought they key to defeating the Soviets however would be to reconcile the differences between Hekmatyar and Massoud, the two largest divisions in the Afghan conflict at the moment.

Ahmed Shah Massoud

“One day in the faith of jihad, was better than the world and what is in it.” (Arab tradition)

During the course of the conflict, Hekmatyar and Sayyaf , would suffer major losses against the Soviet backed Afghan government in Kabul. But so did the young Saudi, Osama Bin Laden. The Jalalabad inclusion, which was guaranteed by al-Haq and Hamid Gul went south. Major losses suffered to the Pakistani backed mujahideen. Massoud was blamed for his non-participation in the conflict, which Pakistan now saw Massoud as a “non-state actor” and someone who couldn’t be counted on in the future. Massoud however wanted an independent Afghanistan, not an extension of Pakistan policies.

According to the National Archives, Mikhail Gorbachev had meetings with the United States under Reagan about the need for an independant Afghanistan, without foreign interference:

“The Soviet decision to withdraw from its disastrous military invasion of Afghanistan occurred as early as October 1985, according to the documents; but Gorbachev did not set a specific timetable until February 1988 while he sought to create a model of cooperation with the United States for resolving regional conflicts. While the Soviets shared the U.S. goal of an independent Afghanistan, they were especially wary of the power of radical fundamentalists, who dominated in the Pakistan-based resistance, supported by the United States. The Soviet leadership believed that the process of national reconciliation would culminate in free elections under U.N. monitoring and the resulting government would be secular and moderate. However, the documents show that eventually the Soviets accepted the fact that the Reagan administration would continue to arm the more radical factions of the Mujahedin through Pakistan, even in violation of the Geneva agreements. Gorbachev was hoping that progress toward a political settlement could be made by working together with the United States after the signing of the Geneva agreements, thus creating a precedent and further cementing U.S.-Soviet global cooperation.”

Gorbachev and the Soviet Politburo (The policy-making authority within the Communist Party of the Soviet Union), wanted unilateral withdrawal of Afghanistan in 1987. With Pakistan President, Ghulam Ishaq Khan and Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto, leading the negotiations between Afghanistan and Soviet Union, the withdrawal was set. On February 14th 1989…the Soviets began to return home. The need for a new Afghanistan, started with confusion, as Anas and Massoud began to look down upon the valley of Panjshir and witness the rusted tanks decaying slowly under the sun by the river banks, tanks by the dozens…as if this was the graveyard for the Soviet Union. Afghanistan lived up, once again, to it’s traditional creed.

Afghanistan…..the graveyard of empires.

Now was the time to mend relationships, and Abdullah Anas began to use his reputable leverage to have Massoud and Hekmatyar come together finally. However as the point came closer to that important meeting, an incident would take place that would halt it from ever happening again. On july 9th 1989, Sayyid Jamal a senior commander of the Hekmatyar led, Hezib-i-Islami, had encountered members of the Shura-e-Nazar, Massoud’s faction. Jamal had openly fired upon the group killing 31 of them. His rivalry with Engineer Bashir over the Takhir Provinces was split to treaties and truce violations. Anas, travelled back to Massoud and told him about the incident fearing Hekmatyar was behind it. Massoud didn’t believe it, and Anas traveled to Peshawar, Hekmatyar denied it and the clan arrested Jamal, the once proud commander of many men. He was later hanged for the offence. The damage however was already done. Massoud intended to create a force which could be transformed into a unified Islamic Afghan army to stabilize and rebuild the country after a Soviet withdrawal, which was the motivation for creating the Shura-e-Nazar.

Gulbuddin Hekmatyar

By January 1990, Anas took control of the Maktab al-Khidamat (Afghan Services Bureau), just a month prior, he had met Mustafa Shalabi, a Palestinian who worked in the MAK office in Brooklyn, New York City inside the Al-Kifah Refugee Center. Azzam had begun the idea of the MAK with financial support from Bin Laden and approval from Sayyaf as early as 1992. But by 1987, MAK guest houses started sharing rooms with members of a radical sect from Egypt, Egyptian Islamic Jihad. Sayyid Imam al-Sharif (Dr.Fadl) and Ayman al-Zawahiri. They were deemed “takfiris”, who are Muslims who declares another Muslim to be an apostate, for various reasons. They would consider a muslim an apostate if they didn't agree with their ideology, or if you believed in Democracy or even f they did not declare Muslim leaders as infidels. Anas saw them as a dangerous influence to the young Arabs in the guest houses, usually these takfiri’s never entered the battle and always enjoyed backbiting other Afghan leaders. One of them being Anas closest friend, Abdullah Azzam. Anas however did not see that in Bin Laden before the arrival of the Egyptians, Bin Laden was soft spoken and well mannered, had zero inclination to the Wahhabi ideology.

Dr. Fadl had wrote the text that would be used to manipulate and form the radical mindset of young Arabs into “wahhabi” or “jihadis”, the book entitled, Al Umda Fi Ilad Al-Udda, or The Essentials Of Making Ready For Jihad. It became an important text for the future wave of terrorists in later years, and al-Sharif has since renounced his ways and the text. Besides the guest houses for Islamic Jihad, there were also smaller guest houses for the members of its adversary, Gamma Islammiyah, headed by Omar Abdel Rahman. This group was considered the more “moderate” of the two. New recruits at the MAK were processed and trained in camps Khalid or Sada. Each holding up to 250 or so Mujahid along with Pakistan ISI officers who personally trained Afghan officers which usually took 6 months, these camps were run by Abdul Rasul Sayyaf in Peshawar.

There were other camps from local tribesmen, Burhanuddin Rabbani’s Khalid Bin al-Walid, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar’s Azam Warsak, Yunis Khalis located in the Patkia Province and Jalaluddin Haqqani’s Banu Meran Shah. Over time, due to the ceaseless backbiting, extremist ideals and selfish ambitions, the MAK office was broken up. By 1987, Bin Laden split from the bureau and created his own camp, Al Masada. The Egyptian Islamic Jihad had compromised many young Arabs at the MAK. Rumors were spread, including that Abdullah Azzam was a Saudi spy. Azzam was unwelcome in Pakistan, as critical reports to the Saudi Interior Minister which spread another rumor that Azzam was becoming a “political threat”, Azzam in hearing this, relocated to the Sada Camp which was at safe distance from the prying eyes of the nefarious ISI and Arab fanatics (takfiris).

Abdullah Azzam

The takfiris from Egypt had begun manipulating the shy Bin Laden, knowing full well of the potential he could bring with his lucrative finances from his fathers Saudi firm. Abu Firas al-Suri, Ayman al-Zawahiri, Ahmed al-Jazairi and Sayyid Imam al-Sharif would help spread the nasty, ill proven rumors about Azzam to Bin Laden and the young Arabs at the MAK. In one meeting between Azzam and al-Jazairi, Azzam had lamented about the fact al-Jazairi, a physician, who foolishly risked his well being in a raid, in which Azzam was critical about his reckless conduct. Azzam asked “What should one do?”al-Jazziri replied “You must first start with monotheism, and correct their creed.” Anas, who was in the meeting, rose up and warned al-Jazziri. “Have some manners!” To which al-Jazairi abruptly left, and relocated to Kuwait, where he would end up meeting with a known takfiri cleric, Mohammad al-Maqdasi. Maqdasi would be the scholarly adviser to a young, unimpressionable jihadi while in Afghanistan, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. al-Zarqawi would later become the founder of Jamaat Al Tawhid Wal Jihad, which became The Islamic State In Iraq.

However the MAK needed new leadership, and with so many Arabs now falling under the impressionable leaders of the Islamic Jihad, Azzam wanted to mend relationships between the Afghans and Arabs. Thus he wanted to name Bin Laden as its emir. But the original members of the MAK, including Anas and Azzam weren’t there to witness the change of leadership, the Egyptians however were in full attendance, and proclaimed Bin Laden emir of the MAK in 1988. The rumors however didn’t stop with Azzam, now there were rumors that Massoud was a Shiite Iranian spy. Anas called for a meeting with the guilty party and quickly dispelled the rumors.

On November 24, 1989…Anas was called to a rushed meeting with Massoud, who somberly welcomes him in, Anas noticed that Massoud was not his usually jovial self. Massoud then spoke to Anas with a tone of voice, to which Anas knew what he ultimately feared.

“Jihad is a difficult road, we all have buried people we have loved”

Azzam was dead. Anas and Massoud wept together. The Muslim Brotherhood which had been fostered by Azzam, was now in tatters, with the Arab Afghans now factionalized. After Azzam’s untimely death, partisanship and extremism was now on the rise, the Arabs who were once held under the relative companionship of the affable sheikh, Azzam, were now without their spiritual guide. They went looking for a new one. Thus many takfiris were now calling themselves, “caliphs”. Sectarianism was now the new normal, and many Salafis were using Sharia to deem who was an apostate and who was not.

The post Soviet Afghanistan had other problems, especially from civil conflicts between afghan and Arab groups. Hekmatyar and Shiite faction, Hezb-i-Wahdar were trying to carve up Kabul. Meanwhile Sayyaf retreated to Paghmanm located in the hills near the capitol where Pashtuns and Tajiks lived, so as to not involve himself with the conflicts. Kabul however was in the control of an interim government, lead by Sibghatullah Mojaddedi . Hekmatyar began attacking it, with the Hezb-i-Islami faction. Massoud was not just opposed to Karmal, but also towards the “fanatical” sect led by Hekmatyar. He knew the country would fall into extremist hands of Hekmatyar was successful.

The ever ultra-charged Hekmatyar was adamantly opposed to Massoud due to his links with Abdul Rashid Dotsom, Marshal in the Afghan National Army and to the Shiite Wahdat Party (Hezb-e-Wahdat). Hekmatyar claimed that the Mojaddedi government was “unislamic” in which he would launch a “corrective jihad” in retaliation. But Mojaddedi was well received by the public ti which he offered a general amnesty to all Afghans except the deposed President, Mohammad Najibullah, whose fate would be decided by “the public”. He was fully supported by the rest of the Mujahids, all but Hekmatyar’s Hezb-i-Islami.

It was now a civil war between the Muslims. Massoud saw Afghanistan as illegitimate, for there was no parliament, no constitution or even elections. The country was “incomplete”. While the takfiris celebrated the retreat of the Soviets, Anas knew better, The Arabs minimally contributed to the conflict in total. Meanwhile an Islamabad movement, called Taliban, headed by Mohammed “Mullah” Omar, headed into Afghanistan. They were adamantly opposed to the Mojaddedi government, as well as Massoud and the Hezb-e-Wahdat, led by it’s founder, Abdul Ali Mazari. Mazari believed the solution to the internal divisions in Afghanistan was in a federal system of governance, with each ethnic group having specific constitutional rights and able to govern their own land and people. But in March 1995 he would be killed by Taliban members who told Mazari they wanted a peace meeting in Chahar Masiab near the capital of Kabul. There he was abducted along with other members, tortured and killed.

By 1993, Anas had left the country, seeking political exile in London, where many Afghans had regrouped to. Pakistan however supported the Taliban and Hekmatyar in Afghanistan, the fear was that with the country in disarray, their mortal enemy, India, would take advantage of the situation and manipulate the circumstances and impose their own tribal factions. Even now to this day, the Pakistan government continues to support the Haqqani Network, while the United States had to literally reprimand the government while Pakistan continually denies denouncing them as a terrorist organization.

The Afghan tribal leaders, like Mullah Omar, all believed that they represented the state, and disavowed that the idea of a multi-party political system. This stubborn nature within the tribal factions has been this way for decades, even far prior to the Soviet invasion.

But as Afghanistan was nearing civil war, Algeria was nearing a Democracy. Algeria achieved unity to force a change in government, whereas Afghanistan could not. In 1988, under Bendjedid, riots broke out, oil prices dropped and with a slow political reformation, the youth of the country finally protested the regress. The Islamists (takfiri) took full advantage of the situation. Anas friend, Abbassi Madani and Ali Belhadj led the Salafists against the Algerian government, their group, the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) was formed, february 18,1989. The party had two major leaders representing its two bases of its support. Madani appealed to pious small businessmen, and Belhadj appealed to the angry, often unemployed youth of Algeria.

Abbassi Madani

Anas knew what could happen inside his homeland of Algeria, because he experienced a similar environment while in Afghanistan just a few short years prior. That the Algerian Arabs can easily be swayed by foreign takfiris, but Belhadj had already persuaded too many young men months prior to the conflict. They fled to the mountains. From there, they would fight the Algerian People’s National Army led by Mohamed Boudiaf who was acting head of state, Boudiaf was completely dependent on the forces that had brought him to power, and his powers were circumscribed by the military and security establishment. But Boudiaf’s ascension was halted as he was assassinated by Algerian special ops group (GIS) Lieutenant Lambarek Boumaarafi, who was said to have acted as a lone gunman due to his Islamist sympathies. The country was in full swing into a long bloody civil war.

What good could he do, a temporary exile in London and married, thought Anas. He thought back to his late, spiritual adviser and close friend, Sheikh Abdullah Azzam. How would he have handled the precarious situation between the nationalist Algerian government and it’s military and the Salafi takfiris, in the mountains?

“And Ibn al-Qayyim confirmed a principle, saying that the human being, if his righteous deeds and benefit in the society are a lot, then he is forgiven for things that others might not be forgiven for, and mistakes of his may be overlooked that would not be overlooked for others, because the Messenger of Allah said: “If water reaches two qullahs (measuring unit), then it will not become impure by impurity.” So, a large volume of water, if some small impurity falls into it, does not have its impurity affected, and it can still be used for ablution and bathing. Likewise, the human being, if his good deeds are many, then one turns a blind eye to some of his bad deeds that are drowning in his ocean of good deeds.”

Abdullah Azzam, (at-Tarbiyah al-Jihadiyyah wal-Bina’’; 2/79)

But what “good deeds” are happening in Algiers?

With Boudiaf assassinated and his killer, Boumaarrafi sentenced to execution for his crime (which wasn’t carried out), the jails were too full of FIS members. On March 4th 1992 the group was dissolved. However, the few members of the FIS that were free, saw this as an act of war. With a long standing conflict with an even more insular group, the Algerian government went into an even further free fall of the economy. Anas saw the problem in Algeria, as he also saw in Bosnia-Herzegovina, as he saw in Peshawar.

Moderate Islam has been silenced by the words from known Salafis (Takfiris).

Salafis such as Ayman al-Zawahiri, Sayyid Imam al-Sharif (Dr.Fadl), Abu Qatada, and Abu Musab al-Suri, took to the airwaves, radio broadcasts, tape cassette, even leaflets. Any type of propagandas was invaded by these strange, dangerous men who used Islam, as the springboard for their own degendative, immoral ideals. They even used the martyr od Abdullah Azzam and sullied his name by asserting he was the influence of their ways! When he was not! al-Zawahiri lambasted Azzam behind his back and insulted the sheikh while not even praying where the sheikh prayed at the mosque. Their propagation and preposterous statements gave their ideas validity. Giving rise to groups like Armed Islamic Group (GIA) in Algiers, which was the equivalent to the Egyptian Islamic Jihad. They were essentially a group who believed that the killing of civilians, journalists and other people were permissible because they were people who subscribed to an infidel system and by virtue of that, they were considered apostates.

“…but I add that those who were killed on the 11th of December in Algeria are not from the innocents. Rather, according to the communiqué from the brothers in al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, they are from the Crusader unbelievers and the government troops who defend them. Our brothers in al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb are more truthful, more just and more righteous than the lying sons of France who have sold Algeria to it and America, and who woo Israel in order for the head of the Crusade, America, to be pleased with them. These criminals who have attacked the Shari’ah and excluded it from government by force and rigging, and who have killed hundreds of thousands of innocent Muslims, and who help the Americans and their Crusader allies to kill millions of Muslims cannot possibly be truthful nor just.”

(Ayman al-Zawahiri, As Sahab Media interview 2008)

It is believed that the Algerian Security Services (Department of Intelligence & Security DRS) infiltrated the GIA and conducted numerous atrocities against the political faction of the FIS and their supporters. This would be similar to the various conspiracy theories over the years that even the foreign intelligence agencies of the CIA, British MI6 also have done the same with Al Qaeda and Islamic State & The Levant, although this is unfounded.

With post Azzam Peshawar, a vaccum now exists within the long, darkened valley. Immoral ideas and extremism which now exists even to this day in countries such as Iraq and Syria from takfiri groups.

“Al-Wila Wal Bana”, in Arabic crudely put required Muslims to refrain befriending or loving non-Muslims. This slogan now resides in Peshawar, Iraq, Syria and Libya. The Arabs now follow the works of the 13th century medieval scholar, Ibn Tammiyah, whom believe would solve all of Afghanistan’s problems. They have only made them begin!

Anas however was attached to his native homeland now, Algeria and his support with the FIS was unwavering, but also caused him to look over his shoulder because members of the GIA had a base in London, where he is a political exile. Anas could not believe what was happening in his country in which he loved. He would lament:

“You got the French out of the county. You achieved Martyrdom. You performed acts of self sacrifice. But you failed to build a state that secured our freedoms.”

War, had made Anas silent…..all the killing all the violence. What have i, Abdullah Anas, become from where i was before.

With the ethnic conflict happening in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Jihad from Afghanistan continued to the Balkans and Algeria. Anas however could not continue along with it, not with a family who depended upon him. And so, he become a stone figure, Unmoved, silent.

By May 1996, Bin Laden returned to Afghanistan with the takfiri’s Ayman al-Zawahiri and Al Qaeda. He landed in Jalalabad, under the auspices of the Rabbani government. He reached out to the Taliban and the Haqqani Network in the Patkia Province. The relationship was mutually beneficial. The Taliban used Bin Laden’s men against Massoud in the North and the camps began to spring up in Jalalabad and Kandahar. Bin Laden was now fully in camp with the Salafis, no longer was he the shy, insular Saudi.

On September 9th 2001, Anas was chairing a meeting with FIS members when the news broke. Massoud was killed by European Arabs. 2 men from Brussels from the Tunisian Fighting Group posing as journalists with a letter from Egyptian activist Yasir Sirri. To which, Sirri was “duped” by the men and did not do any background check regarding the credibility of the two. They had concealed a bomb inside the camera which exploded when they set up the interview in close proximity to Massoud. Bin Laden was said to have ordered the killing.

Two days later, September 11th 2001…..the terrorist attacks to which was blamed on Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda.

After the U.S invasion into Afghanistan, the country which was still reeling from the Soviet invasion, and its two civil wars brought on by the Taliban and the government. Now has to endure the longest war in American history which still continues to the present day. They the arrests and renditions happened. Many people that Anas knew, had been interrogated, tortured and imprisoned, yet he was left alone. But why? He knew Azzam, he knew Bin Laden, he knew al-Suri, he knew Abu Hafs al-Masri (Mohamed Atef), he was one of the primary founders of the MAK office. However the answer had come to him after the smoke of wondering, it was his early proclamations against Al Qaeda which vindicated him. It was activism against the takfiris, an activism that gave him an enemy, which vindicated Abdullah Anas. It was his true interpretation of Islam which saved him.

In Jihad, the enemy had to be clear. The U.S invasion into Afghanistan, the enemy was not clear. Afghans were not Al Qaeda, yet they were deemed so. So why were there takfiris on the airwaves such as Al Jazeera talking about Jihad and Azzam as they knew him? They were hardly on the battlefield, they used Azzam’s name, when they insulted him daily when he was alive! Anas could no longer be silent! For he knew he could use his “weight” of being a former Mujahid, and try and save Afghanistan. The country which needed him the most in 1980, needed him again 31 years later. Thus he returned back into the mountains, not to be silent, but to speak about a resolution to conflict. he met with former old members of some Taliban fractioned from Mullah Omar who agreed, the conflict has to end. Or the foreign military of the West, will either continue the conflict on for years, or end up eventually, like the Soviets.

“If the way is closed, it is closed. I am not an ambassador. God knows i tried my best.” — Abdullah Anas regarding Afghanistan mediations with Taliban

(Some information in this article comes from Abdullah Anas book, To The Mountains, My Life in Jihad, from Algeria to Afghanistan, which can be purchased by any bookstore available:



Adam Fitzgerald

Geo-political scientist/researcher into the events of September 11th 2001.