Kabul: A few hours after the last US troop left Kabul, Al Qaeda's senior leadership released a congratulatory statement on Tuesday (August 31) on the occasion of the "Taliban's victory" in the war-ravaged country.
Al Qaeda's leaders said it "soothed" their hearts to hear verses from the Quran recited in the "Presidential Palace" in Kabul, reported FDD's Long War Journal, an American news website.
"We praise the Almighty, the Ominpotent, who humiliated and defeated America, the head of disbelief," the statement reads. "We praise Him for breaking America's back, tarnishing its global reputation and expelling it, disgraced and humiliated, from the Islamic land of Afghanistan," the statement added.
The Taliban on Tuesday declared victory over the US from the tarmac of Kabul airport after the last American troop left Afghanistan. Standing on the airport runway, Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid told a small crowd that "This victory belongs to us all".
He was joined by heavily armed fighters from the Taliban's Badri 313 special forces brigade, kitted out in camouflage uniforms and desert boots, reported CNN. Mujahid congratulated the Taliban fighters lined up, and indeed "the whole of the nation".
Videos showed Taliban fighters filling the night air with gunfire and walking through the airport. As the sun rose on Tuesday, footage showed the Taliban making their way through an abandoned hanger strewn with equipment the US left behind.
According to a recent UN monitoring report, a significant part of the leadership of Al-Qaeda resides in the Afghanistan and Pakistan border region, alongside Al-Qaida in the Indian Subcontinent. Large numbers of Al-Qaeda fighters and other foreign extremist elements aligned with the Taliban are located in various parts of Afghanistan.
As per the UN report, ties between the two groups remain close, relationships forged through common struggle and intermarriage. The report added that Al-Qaeda and like-minded militants continue to celebrate developments in Afghanistan as a victory for the Taliban's cause, and thus for global radicalism.