Ibn al-Khattab talks about the war in Tajikistan

“Regarding the Tajik cause, I say to the Muslims: I remember in Tajikistan that I spoke with Abdulloh Nuri, the leader of the Tajik, I mentioned to him that we have minimum experience, so we don’t want to be presented as masters in the field of military operations and jihad. It is known that every cause has many problems. For example: teaching the Muhajreen (refugees) and media work. There were many problems of this kind in the camps of the Muhajreen.

We mentioned to them that we only came to give support and aid. If there were any problems, there should be direct contact with Sayid Abdulloh Nuri, so that nobody can interfere in the matters of the mujahidin and if there were any interference Ustaz Abdulloh Nuri will immediately take care of it. Alhamdulillah it was an experience which we benefited from. On the contrary, other groups came and stayed with the Tajik in their camps and began to ask them for food, tents, ammunition, etc. They complained and said ‘we have 1000 problems’ and these brothers themselves became problem 1001.

If we come to a cause and begin to ask its people for help, knocking on the doors of the leadership, asking for meetings, demanding petrol, diesel, ammunition, plans for an ambush or operation then this is not the true meaning of support. In reality you are only increasing the problems. These things happened but we tried to avoid it and didn’t allow anyone to interfere in our work.

We began to work and prepare. I said to the brothers that if anyone wants to be involved in any action he should be prepared and shouldn’t ask anything from anyone. It’s true that they came to support and coordinate under one leadership from that country, but going to battle and arranging the matters should be in the hands of the Ansar, if they were one group or more.

In my opinion, this was a very good experience and had good success in it. I discussed with many brothers who visited us, they said that we should support the leadership and take from the leadership and such. So we told them that we aren’t Tajik. We came to give support and help; we cannot stay on the mountains and ask them to give us aid. We have to be prepared.

I remember what happened in Afghanistan. There were many problems with some of the Afghan and the Ansar. Like when someone got martyred or fell in a mine field, we would ask the Afghans to bring his body back. We weren’t ready to take care of our dead and wounded and such matters. Fighting is fighting. It is not an easy thing. Or when an operation happened and 30 or 40 got killed. How could 30 or 40 die in an operation? Was it planned properly? So they blame the Afghan commanders or they claim that a particular group didn’t cover them with artillery, or that this group hit them or this group left them. I remember after every operation here would be problems and they would look for a scapegoat and put the problems on someone’s back. Really there was no studying and order in the case of entering. There were some fronts, Alhamdulillah, which had an arranged leadership and the situation was much better.

Regarding the operations, there were many examples in Afghanistan, to avoid all kinds of problems we prepared ourselves for Tajikistan. We spent four months only preparing what we need. We prepared a house, bought weapons, wireless equipment, and transportation like cars and trucks. Crossing the river, which was a very big problem, only that is considered jihad. We visited the border region and we regularly meet with Adbulsamaad (Mullah Qurban) the commander of that area and, one of the good educated Tajik brothers who knows Arabic. We also met a commander called Yahiya in Alur and Shayab.

We explored the area and prepared all matters. We only asked the Tajik for one thing. We said to them: ‘we don’t want your money or weapons. We won’t cost you anything. We came to give you aid. We just want from you one thing: Mujahidin who you endorse and know, so that we train and prepare them with everything. After those men are fully trained we can enter battles. We have entered in front of those people/ We shouldn’t urge people while we are sitting or talking through the radio. we should be in front of them. If we present anything good then it is for Islam and if we didn’t present anything we wouldn’t cost you anything. So that no one will say that Al0Ansar came to us from this group and we gave them weapons, ammunition and clothes, but they cheated us or they didn’t know what to do, or they cost us heavy expenses for nothing, and such talk that would be said by the hypocrites or who work on such matters. We have come to you so that we can provide you from our side.

Alhamdulillah, we carried out some successful operations. This was our strategy in supporting the Tajik and I swear to Allah that it succeed, but some of the people in the leadership tried to say, why are they not under our command or why those people have cars and such talk. They even appointed a commander called ‘Radwan’, he was the most insidious that I have ever seen. In the end they killed him. When they appointed him as military Amir, he tried to interfere in our matters, but we said to him not to come to our area. We are only connected with Abdulloh Nuri.

According to me and those who were with me this experience was very hard. We used to solve every problem that faced us. When we went to Afghanistan the jihad was ready. The roads and the fronts were safe. The brothers only went to camps to get trained, he would be received and move between guest houses and camps. After that he goes to the front and the Afghan brothers will keep him in certain position and tell him to shoot at this or that direction, and nothing else. We didn’t solve problems from the beginning, like building roads, searching for water, planning things from scratch, arrange the transportation, communications, knowing the locations and many other things. If I talk about these subjects I have to go into the details and leave the main subject.

In my opinion, we didn’t really do jihad in Afghanistan. The Afghans did almost everything. Many brothers came to Afghanistan after 1985/1986 and the majority of them in 1988.  The brothers who came in the beginning faced the difficulties. At that time most of the matters were already arranged. In Tajikistan we began with nothing and we weren’t used to that. This was a new experience for us. It was a hard and tough experience in all standards. I don’t think that I or the brothers who were with me will go once again through an experience like Tajikistan. Sometimes the cars would reach an area, then for three or four days to a certain area, then we would walk with donkeys and muels until we reach rivers. The river by itself was a monster and only crossing it was a jihad. There were mountains which I have never seen in my life, the least height was 3000 or 2500 meter. Alhamdulillah, we did one or two operations despite the problems of the Afghans who lived there and problems regarding supplying the mujahideen. The main problem that faced us was getting food and roads which we couldn’t find.

Once I went to reconnaissance, I found about 25 posts through 9 Kilometers. There were routes that you cannot walk in and even the mules cannot walk on. I remember that we used to pay to move the BM Katyusha rocket launcher from our first base before the border for 2000 for each rocket, and from there we would move it to the river for 6000, and after crossing the river they take a 1000 then an Afghan person would carry it on his back, because there was a section of porters, who would carry I to the front for 6000. If we calculate the total expenses of one rocket it is 5000 rupees plus 12000 rupees, until it reaches the front, which means the price increases 2-3 times to keep it with the weapons. It was a very hard cause, but Alhamdulillah the brothers learned and gained a lot from it. The problems needed to be solved from day to night.

We stayed in Tajikistan and wanted to prepare the people for jihad. Our number was small, 100 to 120 people. Then we began to prepare for larger numbers, 300 to 400 mujahideen. Our capabilities were weak and the Muslims weren’t concerned about the cause. Maybe because the problems in Afghanistan, and the continuous fighting between the factions. Also the roads there were hard and it wasn’t easy for the good people to reach it. As I said before, the cause was treated with injustice and it was from the hardest causes that the Muslims faced. The weak leadership and the problems between them was also a problem. I didn’t see any people who are fanatic about nationalism- we ask Allah wellness from this- like the Tajik, when they would speak against each other, they would say; he is from Panj province, and this one is from Qulab province, and he is from Dushanbe, this is from that province and he is from that province.

Alhamdulillah, it was a good experience for us. While the brothers who came to support the cause and went to other locations with the Tajik, they had transportation problems and conflicting orders. So they came out of this with low morals. They said that the Tajik have nothing and they only want to fight. In the end, instead of supporting the cause they came out with bad ideas and began to say things about it that shouldn’t have been said. This was the first experience with the Tajik, but you had an experience before it, so why did you go to them and begin an experience from scratch? What made you go through these problems? You have been granted by Allah by a previous experience and you know about weapons and fighting, so you have only to work according to your own knowledge. To put everything on the shoulders of the Tajik is not right. There were many problems and the hypocrites were working from the inside. So unfortunately the brothers came out with a bad idea and said some things that shouldn’t have been said. There was no need for these matters.”

(Source: https://ia600302.us.archive.org/29/items/TheMemoriesOfAmirKhattabTheExperienceOfTheArabAnsarInChechnya/Memories.pdf )


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