Taliban Propaganda Debuts Alleged Western-Style 'Commando Unit'

Taliban Propaganda Debuts Alleged Western-Style 'Commando Unit'

The Taliban released a propaganda video this week that allegedly depicts a commando unit of the terror group, seemingly equipped with high-tech arms, patrolling “sensitive areas” of Kabul, including the Afghan Presidential Palace, the Telegraph reported Thursday.

“The video showed the fighters more closely resembling the deposed Afghan government’s special forces than the Taliban’s typical image of rural guerilla,” according to the British newspaper.

“Slow motion footage showed them wearing modern helmets, sunglasses, body armour, and carrying similar rifles to the Afghan forces,” the Telegraph noted.

Qari Saeed Khosty — referred to by the New York Times on August 20 as “one of the best-known pro-Taliban influencers” — posted the video to his Twitter account on August 17:

بدري ۳۱۳ قطعه
د ارګ او د کابل ښار د حساسو سیمو امنیت په غاړه لري pic.twitter.com/dSSgnuAUbM

— Qari Saeed Khosty (@SaeedKhosty) August 17, 2021

“The ‘Badri 313’ special forces squadron is in charge of security in Arg [Afghan Presidential Palace] and sensitive areas of Kabul city,” Khosty captioned the video post in Pashto.

The video shows some members of the alleged Taliban special forces unit interviewed by journalists, whose faces are not shown on camera, holding blue-capped microphones decorated with the yellow logo of the Taliban’s official propaganda website, Al-Emarah. The interview footage directly matches descriptions of previous Taliban propaganda videos included in the Times report on August 20.

“In Kabul, many Taliban-trained journalists have been busy on the streets, often holding a microphone with the logo of the group’s propaganda site,” the newspaper detailed.

“Taliban citizen journalists ply the streets of newly captured cities with blue-capped microphones, offering videos of bland endorsement from residents,” the Times further noted.

“Badri 313,” the Taliban special forces unit allegedly depicted in the video posted by Khosty and other Taliban propagandists on August 17, is “believed to be named after the Battle of Badr, an early Muslim military victory where the Prophet Mohammad led a force of 313 fighters,” according to the Telegraph.

Gabrielle Reyes