Voice ID'd As Taliban Commander Issues Threat

Team Infidel

Forum Spin Doctor
Boston Globe
May 24, 2007 By Noor Khan, Associated Press
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan -- A man identified on tape as the Taliban's new top field commander warned yesterday that recruits were volunteering as suicide bombers and that fighters would continue their holy war until Western powers leave Afghanistan.
Violence struck throughout the country with two bomb blasts that killed four people, including a Finnish soldier in the usually quiet north. NATO said it attacked a meeting of Taliban leaders in the south, killing an unspecified number of militants.
Shuhabuddin Athul, a Taliban spokesman, played an audiotape over the telephone to an Associated Press reporter that Athul said was a recording of Dadullah Mansoor, the brother and replacement of Mullah Dadullah, the top Taliban commander shot to death in a US operation this month in southern Afghanistan.
The man on the tape said Taliban fighters were ready to avenge his brother's death and would "pursue holy war until the occupying countries leave."
"The number of suicide attackers is increasing. . . . All of the Taliban, we are ready to carry out suicide attacks, roadside bombs and ambushes against the Americans and the government," the voice identified as Mansoor's said.
There was no way to verify that the voice was really Mansoor's.
Mullah Dadullah, a one-legged veteran who orchestrated an intensifying campaign of suicide attacks and beheadings, had long been a top lieutenant of Taliban leader Mullah Omar.
Athul has said that Mansoor was one of five prisoners released in March in exchange for kidnapped Italian journalist Daniele Mastrogiacomo. He was named as Mullah Dadullah's replacement last week, Athul said.