In the column, the senior Taliban leader dismissed fears of Afghanistan becoming a haven for terror groups like Al Qaeda as Western propaganda.
By World Israel News Staff
A prominent terrorist and planner of the September 11th attacks assassinated by an American drone strike on Sunday was killed at the home of a senior Taliban leader, who had penned an op-ed that was controversially published by the New York Times.
The CIA targeted Ayman al-Zawahiri, a member of Al Qaeda, in a Kabul drone strike over the weekend.
Notably, al-Zawahiri was killed at the home of Sirajuddin Haqqani, a Taliban official who has been serving as the de facto interior minister of Afghanistan after a chaotic American withdrawal from the country in August 2021.
Haqqani published an editorial in the Times in February 2020, in which he claimed that the Taliban had changed since its days of public executions and rampant oppression of women.
In the piece, he urged then-president Trump and his administration to sign a peace deal with the terror group, which would see American troops withdraw from the country, and dismissed fears of Afghanistan becoming a haven for terror groups like Al Qaeda as Western propaganda.
“We are aware of the concerns and questions in and outside Afghanistan about the kind of government we would have after the foreign troops withdraw,” Haqqani wrote.
“I am confident that, liberated from foreign domination and interference, we together will find a way to build an Islamic system in which all Afghans have equal rights, where the rights of women that are granted by Islam — from the right to education to the right to work — are protected, and where merit is the basis for equal opportunity.”
Within weeks of the departure of American and other international troops from Afghanistan, the Taliban issued directives banning women and girls from attending school and requiring female TV news anchors to cover their faces during broadcasts.
“We are also aware of concerns about the potential of Afghanistan being used by disruptive groups to threaten regional and world security. But these concerns are inflated: Reports about foreign groups in Afghanistan are politically motivated exaggerations by the warmongering players on all sides of the war,” he claimed.
The fact that Haqqani hosted a senior Al Qaeda member at his home appears to directly contradict his statement that Afghanistan would not shelter foreign terror groups on its soil.
The New York Post reported that the Times had removed a paragraph from its original article about al-Zawahiri’s assassination that referenced his presence at Haqqani’s residence, attributing that to a sense of embarrassment on the part of the Times.
The Times denied that version of events in a statement.
“We regularly edit web stories — especially breaking news stories — to refine the story, add new information, additional context or analysis,” a Times spokesman told Fox News.