Taliban Says 'We Can Control Terrorism,' Blames Kabul Airport Attack On U.S

The Taliban has blamed the August 27 terrorist attack outside Kabul airport—which killed 183 people including 13 American service members—on the U.S., saying that the militant group "can control terrorism" inside the country.

ISIS-K, the Islamic State's affiliate in Afghanistan, claimed responsibility for that attack. It was the deadliest day for the U.S. military since August 6, 2011, when insurgents shot down a transport helicopter, killing 30 Americans and eight Afghans.

In an interview on The Ana Rosa program, which was published on Monday, Bilal Karimi, spokesman for the Taliban military leadership, said: "We can control terrorism, the attack at the Kabul airport was the fault of the United States, which made an appeal saying that they were going to take everyone out of Afghanistan."

"They had been outside the airport for many days, I am very sorry but it happened... The US evacuation plan has been very bad, all countries are calmer and there have been no more attacks," Karimi told the Spanish journalists.

In the interview, the spokesperson promised that the Taliban would not harm Spanish nationals that remain in the country.

"The Islamic State [Emirate] is not going to harm them, what we want is for those who have knowledge to work for the prosperity of their country, so that Afghanistan will rise up and be an advanced country."

"If someone wants to leave the country abroad, when the situation is more normalized, when the Kabul airport is already open, they can always leave with a passport and visa, do it legally and as in the rest of the world."

Karimi added: "They [foreign nationals] are all forgiven, we are not going to hurt, all of them can freely go out through their city, lead a normal life, they do not have to remain in hiding."

Despite the Taliban's history of restricting rights of women, the military spokesperson attempted to assure the journalists: "From the Islamic Emirate we say that it is a man or a woman, it does not matter. They have the same rights to study and advance, no problem. Women can work anywhere, also those who have positions in the government, normally."

But he said that the Taliban wanted women to comply with Islamic law, including in how they dress, so that they do not "provoke a man."

"As long as they are well and remain in their hijab, they can work in electricity companies, offices, agricultural companies and with normality," he said.

But there has been much opposition to this policy, with groups of women across the country taking to the streets to protest against the Taliban's conservative laws. The militants fired weapons in Kabul on Saturday to break up a protest led by Afghan women demanding equality, just one day after the militant group said there will be "no issue" with women's rights.

The Taliban quickly seized control of Afghanistan in mid-August, as the U.S. and other Western allies withdrew troops from the country, ending their over two-decade military presence there.

Officials Release Names of Service Members Killed
A Taliban fighter stands guard at the site of the August 26 twin suicide bombs, which killed scores of people, at Kabul airport on August 27, 2021. A Taliban spokesperson has blamed the attack on the United States, despite ISIS-K already claimed they were behind the attack. Wakil Kohsar