Abstract: The Islamic Emirate of Kunar was a Salafi Islamic state founded by Jamil al-Rahman and his political party in Afghanistan in 1990. This proto-state was an early and short-lived experiment that captured the attention of Salafi leaders and activists throughout the Muslim world. Following his assassination in 1991, al-Rahman was variously eulogized and reviled by Salafi leaders. Although not well known in the United States, this emirate was a modern ideological and political predecessor to today’s self-anointed Islamic State. In fact, some of the mujahideen involved with al-Rahman’s political organization later influenced the founders of the Islamic State and in at least one case are prominently involved with the group’s expansion into Afghanistan. This report analyzes previously unstudied primary sources in Persian and Pashto to illuminate how the Islamic Emirate of Kunar came into being. While this analysis is of historical value, it is also helpful for contextualizing current events in the region.

The Islamic State has captured the world’s attention with its battlefield success, its carefully publicized brutality, and its efforts to recreate a caliphate. However, the group’s attempts are not the first modern effort to create a Salafi state from war-torn territory in the midst of conflict. That distinction goes to the Islamic Emirate of Kunar, founded by Jamil al-Rahman and his Salafi political party, Jama’at al-Da’wa ila al-Qur’an wal-Sunna (JDQS), following a democratic election in Kunar, Afghanistan, in early 1990.[1][a]

The Islamic Emirate of Kunar is not well known and the Afghan Salafis were a small minority, but al-Rahman’s attempt to create an Islamic state has had a profound impact on the development of the global Salafi jihadi movement and how that movement perceives and stylizes itself. This influence was exercised through the direct contact that many major Salafi leaders had with JDQS as well as the symbolic value that numerous Salafi thinkers and activists placed in the creation of an Islamic state supposedly governed on the basis of the Qur’an and Islamic tradition. While the historical significance of such links is clear, they also aid in understanding the Islamic State and its current expansion into Afghanistan and Pakistan.

There are numerous examples of jihadi writers drawing lessons for contemporary readers from the creation and dissolution of the Islamic Emirate of Kunar in the early 1990s.[2] Because of language barriers and extreme scarcity, however, the sources that reveal this history are difficult to access for most Western readers. The readily available historiography of the Afghan jihad emphasizes the seven main Sunni mujahideen parties from the Soviet-Afghan War to such a great extent that the Salafis simply disappear in many accounts (although there are some exceptions[3]). This article draws on a group of never-before analyzed primary sources, including books and magazines published by JDQS in Pashto and Persian, to begin to tell how al-Rahman became the leader of the first Salafi Islamic state.[b]

Creation of the Islamic Emirate of Kunar
In October 1989 the various mujahideen factions in Kunar gathered to discuss the future of the newly freed province.[4][c] The commanders, ulema, elders, and tribal leaders at the meeting agreed that they wanted to establish an Islamic administration, and the group appointed a 15-member commission to explore the issue in detail. This commission included members of all of the major mujahideen parties in Kunar, including JDQS and Hizb-e Islami (HIG), led by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, who would later play an outsized role in the proto-state’s eventual collapse. In an early move, HIG repeatedly insisted that elections be held among the mujahideen parties to create a single unified Islamic administration, and when the commission agreed to this demand, the path was set for the creation of an independent state in Kunar province.[5]

At the time it was almost unheard of for a Salafi leader to advocate for elections. The decision by JDQS to accept a vote as a path toward the creation of an Islamic state was groundbreaking, but it would probably be a mistake to interpret it as a true preference for democracy. Al-Rahman and JDQS were not in a position to declare unilaterally their own government, and their acceptance of the elections was at least partly a flexible response to political and military necessity. JDQS was the largest party in Kunar at the time, but al-Rahman lacked the resources in other provinces that parties such as HIG could draw on. As borne out by later events, JDQS was in a strong position to win an election in Kunar. However, the party was too small and too poorly resourced to fight a long-term battle against a much larger rival like HIG without major support. When HIG demanded elections as a condition for moving forward with the creation of the state, the only other option was probably open fighting. If nothing else, JDQS’ acceptance of an election in Kunar demonstrates that a Salafi Islamic state is capable of coming into existence through modern political practices. Elections were likely the best option available to al-Rahman at the time, and on October 17, 1989, a high election commission was created.[d]

Even after planning for the elections started, there was still some reluctance within JDQS to embrace a democratic path to power.[e] One JDQS writer glibly explained that while the party did not endorse “Western-style elections,” the group accepted the decision to hold a vote on the basis of proportional representation in order to maintain unity among the mujahideen.[6] Perhaps it was in part because of this ambivalence about the religious and political legitimacy of democracy that JDQS and the other parties placed strict limits on enfranchisement.

The Kunar elections in early 1990 were a resounding success for the Salafis.[g] Al-Rahman’s party achieved a decisive victory in the elections, and on May 7, 1990, the Transitional Shura selected al-Rahman as the emir of the newly created Islamic Emirate of Kunar.[7] A group of leaders from Kunar, including some members of HIG, visited al-Rahman in Pakistan and asked him to return to take the helm of the new Islamic state.[8] Commanders from the various mujahideen factions gradually began to pledge their bay`a (oath of allegiance) to al-Rahman, but the seeds of the emirate’s destruction were already sown by the growing enmity between al-Rahman and HIG’s leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar.[9]

Struggle for Control in Kunar
Gulbuddin Hekmatyar made a name for himself in the early days of the struggle against leftism in Afghanistan by murdering a Maoist student while at Kabul University in 1972.[10] He quickly took control of the youth wing of the Kabul University Islamist movement when he left prison, and before long he began clashing with more established resistance leaders like Burhanuddin Rabbani.[11] These disputes were a driving force behind the repeated dissolution of the various mujahideen unity parties at the beginning of the Soviet Afghan War.[12] When al-Rahman created his own political party, JDQS, he apparently pulled many of the Kunar-based supporters of Hekmatyar into his camp, likely exacerbating any existing tensions between the two men.[13] Little is known about the interactions between HIG and JDQS in the mid-1980s, but when Kunar province was freed, both parties began to scramble for dominance.

Relations between JDQS and the central leadership of HIG deteriorated rapidly throughout 1990. There was a temporary respite on January 18, 1991, when two-thirds of HIG’s Kunar provincial shura and a number of HIG commanders gave their bay`a to the Islamic Emirate of Kunar.[14] With this, HIG was brought into the emirate’s executive shura, and its members were given control of several ministries, including the Foreign Ministry.[15] Tense as things had become, conflict had yet to break out openly between JDQS and HIG, and for a time the emirate was able to set about the basic work of governing.

Soon after its inauguration, the emirate initiated various agricultural development programs, banned the cultivation of poppies, and took steps to speed up the return of refugees.[16] The Salafis began exerting control over religious practice in Kunar through the creation of an office for “commanding right and forbidding wrong” and by destroying the tombs of revered Sufi saints.[17] To the annoyance of the international community, the emirate also hijacked trucks of wheat sent by USAID.[18] In a sign of the importance of the emirate’s cross-border community relationships, after an earthquake in Dir and Bajaur in 1990, the emirate sent money and tents to affected communities in Pakistan.[19] Al-Rahman also initiated operations to rid the roads of bandits and thieves.[20] Of course, all of these programs were expensive, and it is unlikely that more than a small proportion of the new state’s funds were generated internally.

JDQS was not one of the seven officially recognized Sunni mujahideen political parties to receive funds from Pakistan during the jihad, and al-Rahman had to look further afield for assistance from the very beginning.[21] The key to the financial viability of the Islamic Emirate was al-Rahman’s booming support in Saudi Arabia. His fundraising there had already begun to eclipse that of ‘Abd al-Rab Rasul Sayyaf, the leader of one of the seven main Afghan mujahideen parties who until then had been among the most successful at attracting wealthy benefactors from Persian Gulf nations.[22] However, with this growing success and financial support came new enemies. Hekmatyar was no longer al-Rahman’s only foe, and none of the Afghan mujahideen came to the aid of the Islamic Emirate when HIG began to conduct harassing attacks in Kunar in the spring of 1991.[23][h]

By summer these attacks had escalated dramatically. In July 1991, HIG launched an attack on the emirate via the Nawa Pass that al-Rahman’s forces only beat back with great difficulty.[24] The Saudi ambassador to Pakistan tried to intervene. Al-Rahman offered to put the matter in the hands of a neutral mediating party, but Hekmatyar refused.[25][i] In late August, Hekmatyar attacked again. On this occasion HIG assaulted Kunar with the support of the Pakistani military.[26][j] Al-Rahman was forced to flee to his home in Pakistan in the neighboring district of Bajaur, where he convened a peace council including many Arab mujahideen to resolve the dispute between HIG and the Islamic Emirate of Kunar.[27]

Aftermath of the Death of al-Rahman
On August 30, 1991, a young Egyptian journalist affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood came to al-Rahman’s home in Bajaur.[k] His name was ‘Abdullah Rumi, and he had worked at al-Jihad magazine and other jihadi publications.[l] Al-Rahman’s guards, believing he was part of the Arab-led peace council, did not search him.[m] Rumi went to where al-Rahman was seated, speaking with a jihadi commander. The young journalist went to al-Rahman’s side, as though to ask him a question. He then drew a pistol and shot him three times. Al-Rahman cried out “God is the greatest!” and fell dead.[28]

Al-Rahman’s death “shocked the Saudi royal family, Chief Mufti Bin Baz, and the broader Saudi religious establishment.”[29] In spite of his many enemies, al-Rahman’s murder reverberated throughout the Salafi mujahideen community, and his death and the subsequent dissolution of the Islamic Emirate of Kunar would be a major topic of discussion in Salafi mujahideen communities for years to come.[n]

Not long after al-Rahman’s assassination, the state that he founded disappeared.[o] In other circumstances, al-Rahman and the Islamic Emirate of Kunar might have been quickly forgotten. Instead, he was lionized by such Salafi luminaries as Usama bin Ladin, the Syrian cleric Abu Basir al-Tartusi, Muqbil bin Hadi al-Wadi’i, and Rabi’ Hadi al-Madkhali.[30] It is perhaps telling that after al-Tartusi spent five months working with al-Rahman’s mujahideen, he moved to Jordan and became a teacher and advisor to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the eventual leader of the Islamic State’s predecessor organization, al-Qa`ida in Iraq (AQI).[31] In addition to these links to major Salafi mujahideen leaders and the Islamic State’s central structure, there are also direct connections between al-Rahman’s party and the Islamic State’s nascent branch in Afghanistan, the Islamic State of Khorasan (ISK).

‘Abd al-Rahim Muslim Dost was one of the first Afghans to declare his bay`a to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi when he was declared caliph of the Islamic State on June 29, 2014.[32] Since then Muslim Dost has been named a deputy leader of ISK.[p] But in the 1980s, long before Muslim Dost was involved in the Islamic State’s expansion into Afghanistan, he was an advisor to al-Rahman and JDQS.[33] To be sure, in his 2006 book, The Broken Chains of Guantanamo, Muslim Dost makes it clear that he separated from JDQS because he felt that al-Rahman had turned Kunar into a private kingdom and that he had become too close to the Saudi and Pakistani governments in the process.[34] This very public and long-delayed repudiation of al-Rahman’s approach to building an Islamic state is indicative of the lasting power that the Islamic Emirate of Kunar has had on the political imagination of Muslim Dost and other Salafi mujahideen leaders.

In a way, the Islamic State’s arrival in Afghanistan through the creation of ISK revives the process started by al-Rahman in Kunar. It is too early to tell if the Taliban will be able to succeed in its goal of eliminating ISK, but there are reasons to be doubtful. It is relatively easy for a jihadi group to maintain a presence in rural areas of Afghanistan with even a small amount of local support, and ISK has a large potential constituency in the remaining Kunar Salafis and disgruntled leaders of Taliban affiliates like Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan.[q] There are no reliable estimates of the number of Salafis living in Afghanistan, but they are concentrated geographically in the east in Nangarhar, Kunar, Nuristan, and, to some extent, Badakhshan. Even if ISK never grows large enough to challenge the Taliban on a national level, if the group can win the support of any significant percentage of the Salafis living in eastern Afghanistan, it will become exceedingly difficult for government forces or the Taliban to destroy them.

Governments underestimate the resourcefulness of well-run mujahideen groups in long-term conflict zones at their peril. These organizations can be well positioned to seize power and form a new state in the absence of outside control. JDQS had already been performing various quasi-state functions in Kunar for years when they initiated discussions with other groups about creating an Islamic state. These functions included, at a minimum, collecting taxes, managing dozens of schools with thousands of students, funding social programs for orphans and widows, maintaining a court system, and providing some security for the conduct of trade.[35]

Many Salafis are highly skeptical about the permissibility and desirability of elections for Muslims, and the experience of JDQS in Kunar does little to assuage those concerns.[r] As some surely argued at the time, an election was necessary in Kunar to avoid massive bloodshed between HIG and JDQS. But the mere organization of an election did nothing to prevent the violence that ensued when HIG disagreed with the results of the vote and set out to undermine the nascent Islamic state. More than anything else, the destruction of al-Rahman’s emirate at the hands of HIG probably highlighted to many mujahideen observers the need to prioritize military strength over political pluralism. The Islamic State has certainly learned this lesson, eschewing the idea of power-sharing and instead aggressively attacking any potential rivals.

With that said, there is nothing inherently anti-modern about Salafism. When it suits them, movements based on Salafi ideology are perfectly capable of seizing political opportunities through internationally recognized modern means, such as democratic elections. This point has been underlined recently with the advent of the al-Nour party in Egypt and the Islamic Salafi Alliance in Kuwait. In short, the form that the Islamic State’s caliphate has taken and the way that it came about were not the inevitable consequence of Salafism. Adherence to Salafi doctrine did not prevent al-Rahman from becoming an elected head of state, and neither has it precluded the Islamic State from making use of technology, social media, and anything else that is to its advantage.

It has been suggested that Afghans may reject the Islamic State out of hand because of the brutality and sectarianism that defines the Islamic State’s public narrative. It is true that ordinary Afghan civilians are generally uninterested in promoting this kind of violence, but that has hardly stopped any of the extremist political movements in Afghanistan from perpetrating horrific bloodshed in their midst. The main innovation of the Islamic State has not been in the kind of violence the group commits but in its dedication to promoting this violence as a method of controlling the population and attracting recruits and publicity. It is naïve to argue that Afghan society is somehow immune to sectarianism, even if it is not as sectarian as Iraq and other areas. In fact, JDQS was famously sectarian, to the point that al-Rahman and the authors of Da’wat had to defend themselves repeatedly against the charge that they called other Muslims atheists and polytheists.[36]

Some analysts argue that there is a limit to ISK’s growth in Afghanistan, and that to a large extent this is demarcated by the ideological boundary between Salafis and the many Sunnis who ascribe to Hanafi interpretations of Islamic law.[37] While it is true that it is highly unlikely that ISK will grow to a force with tens of thousands of fighters like the Taliban, this ideological determinism should be taken with a grain of salt. Accounts of the history of the mujahideen movements in Afghanistan are filled with stories of fickle commanders who changed factions in order to receive more support, and many of the first members of JDQS in Afghanistan were drawn from HIG, a party that had a quasi-Muslim Brotherhood creed.[38][s] Salafis in Afghanistan and elsewhere are often disliked by their peers because of their demands that other Muslims refrain from common popular religious practices, especially visiting the tombs of saints and using amulets. However, this does not necessarily mean that non-Salafi mujahideen would refuse to fight for ISK if the incentives were right. At the level of the foot soldier, matters of doctrine are important, but not necessarily or always decisive.

More research is needed to explore further the nature of the historical and personal connections between the Islamic Emirate of Kunar and the Islamic State.[39] But with what is already known, it is clear that the story of the Islamic Emirate of Kunar offers a fascinating glimpse into the ways that mujahideen groups grapple with governing territory. In Kunar’s case, the answer was a pragmatic attempt to deal with significant opposition between factions by holding elections to establish a new state. Although this effort was only briefly successful, that it happened at all is noteworthy, and major jihadi leaders from Usama bin Ladin and Abu Basir al-Tartusi to ISK’s Muslim Dost seemed to agree.

Kevin Bell is an enforcement specialist in the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network at the U.S. Department of the Treasury. A former U.S. Army officer, he led an infantry platoon for a 12-month deployment to Paktia Province, Afghanistan, with the 101st Airborne Division. After leaving the Army and attending graduate school, he returned to Afghanistan for 18 months to work on strategic communications grants.

This article was prepared by Kevin Bell in his personal capacity. The views expressed herein are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Department of the Treasury or the United States Government.

Substantive Notes
[a] Al-Rahman’s decision to support elections was unpopular among Salafi mujahideen at the time, and such support is still atypical for Salafi groups with the exception of a few modern political parties such as the al-Nour party in Egypt and the Islamic Salafi Alliance in Kuwait.

[b] All translations from Persian and Pashto are the author’s, except where otherwise noted. Thanks to Vahid Brown for help with the Arabic sources. It is worth noting that the Dawlat-e Inqilabi-ye Islami-ye Afghanistan [The Revolutionary Islamic State of Afghanistan] in neighboring Nuristan province probably antedated the Islamic Emirate of Kunar by about 10 years. This government was led by Mawlawi Muhammad Afzal and maintained a foreign ministry, interior ministry, and defense ministry during the Soviet Afghan War. This government divided the administration of Nuristan into four districts, each of which was led by a local governor. Unfortunately, relatively little is known about the ideology of this movement, and it is not clear whether Mawlawi Muhammad Afzal was a Salafi or whether his group acted as a state in more than name. See “A Look at the Statecraft of Mawlawi Afzal: the Founder of the Revolutionary Islamic Government of Afghanistan—an Interview with Yusef Nuristani, Chief of the Office of Mawlawi Muhammad Afzal,” Bokhdi News, March 15, 2012.

[c] Kunar was the first province to be abandoned by the communists after the Soviets withdrew from Afghanistan, leaving a power vacuum in their place.

[d] Al-Rahman was not generally a proponent of democracy. Da’wat printed his quotations and various remarks in every publication, and often these remarks urged Muslims to be wary of accepting democracy. For more on this and for information about the creation of the High Election Commission, see “The Declaration of the Islamic Emirate of Kunar,” p. 6. It is not entirely clear if this was a separate entity from the 15-member commission described above. Future research is needed to distinguish the different councils and commissions involved in the creation of the Islamic Emirate.

[e] JDQS’ decision to participate in elections was extremely controversial, and some Salafi authors who are otherwise supportive of Jamil al-Rahman make clear their distaste for the elections that led to the creation of the Islamic Emirate. For example, in an otherwise positive biography of al-Rahman, ‘Abd al-Rahman Farid al-Jezairi is careful to point out that elections are tyrannical and idolatrous (taghuti) and that al-Rahman’s group only participated in the elections in order to avoid the shedding of innocent blood that would have resulted from a refusal. Abu ‘Abd al-Rahman Farid al-Jezairi. “The Biography of Sheikh Jamil al-Rahman.” Ajurry.com, an Islamic education website. July 2012. Accessed February 2, 2016.

[f] There is no discussion of the gender of voters, but it is almost certain that women were not considered eligible. According to the requirements, voters must be at least 15 years of age; have participated in the jihad before March 21, 1987 [the end of that Islamic solar year]; not be accused of having relations with un-Islamic parties; not be accused of having acted against the mujahideen or of conducting any actions or relations in service of the atheist government; and be bound by Islamic law and not be known for any grave sins. “The Policies for the Conduct of the Elections of the United Islamic Commission of Kunar Province,” Da’wat, JDQS, Issue 9, (November 1989), p. 20.

[g] Many of the Da’wat articles provide date conversions, usually from one of the two main Islamic calendars to the Gregorian calendar. Unfortunately, these internal conversions are often inconsistent. The actual date of the election remains unclear. According to the Da’wat texts, the vote likely took place in the months immediately prior to May 1990.

[h] It is worth noting that at some point HIG probably attacked camps belonging to each of the parties. For a discussion of Yunus Khalis’ response to HIG attacks on his own camps in 1995, see Haji Din Muhammad, The Life, Art, and Thought of Mawlawi Khalis. (Hayatabad, Peshawar: Pir Chap Khuna, 2007), pp. 88–89.

[i] Da’wat provides a detailed, if roundabout, description of the joint Saudi-Pakistani efforts to mediate between HIG and JDQS. In short, JDQS claims that Hekmatyar sabotaged the negotiations. See “Kunar from the Beginning of the Jihad to Now,” Da’wat, Issue 15-16 (September 1991), pp. 29-30.

[j] Pakistan helped eliminate al-Rahman and his emirate partly because it was loath to allow a new Saudi-backed independent state to take form on its border, but also because the ISI, the central Pakistani intelligence service, was backing al-Rahman’s principal rival, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, to take over as the leader of a mujahideen government in Kabul.

[k] There are many different conspiracy theories about al-Rahman’s death, but most point to ‘Abdullah Rumi as his killer. The most significant dissenting view on this is ‘Abd al-Rahim Muslim Dost, who claims that al-Rahman was killed by Haji Ruhalla, one of his associates. Muslim Dost explains that Haji Ruhalla shot both al-Rahman and ‘Abdullah Rumi and claimed that he had killed Rumi out of revenge. The facts are still uncertain, but Muslim Dost’s account is a minority version. See ‘Abd al-Rahim Muslim Dost and Ustad Badr al-Zaman Badr, The Broken Chains of Guantanamo (Peshawar, Pakistan: Khilafat Publishing Company, 2007), pp. 18-19.

[l] Peter Tomsen claims that Rumi also worked on one of Sayyaf’s publications, al-Bunyan. He also adds that ‘Abdullah Rumi was an alias and that his real name was Sharif ‘Ali. See Peter Tomsen, The Wars of Afghanistan (New York: PublicAffairs, 2013), p. 388. The magazine al-Jihad was affiliated with ‘Abdullah ‘Azzam, a well-known mujahideen leader and sometime associate of Usama bin Ladin.

[m] “The Life, Call and Jihad of the Martyr Sheikh Jamil al-Rahman,” p. 20. The author of the article notes that the guards did not normally search Arab guests, so it did not really matter that the guards believed him to be part of the peace council.

[n] Note that the Islamic Emirate did not dissolve immediately after al-Rahman’s death. The former chief financial officer for JDQS, Sami’ullah Najibi, was appointed emir with al-Rahman’s departure. Sami’ullah was born in Nangarhar in 1944 and graduated from the Dar al-‘Ulum Rawalpindi in 1965. He later studied and taught at the Dar al-‘Ulum in Kabul, and following his stint as emir, he served as a minister in the brief mujahideen government of Burhanuddin Rabbani. See “The Jama’at al-Da’wa ila al-Qur’an wal-Sunnah Party,” Payam-e Aftab, November 19, 2007.

[o] Even though the emirate fell apart, JDQS still exists in some form today.

[p] There have been various claims about his exact role in ISK, and it is not clear what operational position he occupies. In addition, there are reports that Muslim Dost has had a falling out with ISK leadership. See Don Rassler, “Situating the Emergence of the Islamic State of Khorasan,” CTC Sentinel 8:3 (2015): pp. 7-11; and Carol Anne Grayson, “Afghanistan, Muslim Dost, deputy of Wilayat Khorasan statement allegedly ‘disowns’ IS head Hafiz Said Khan claiming ‘un-Islamic actions,’” Carol Anne Grayson (Radical Sister) blog, October 19, 2015.

[q] For an analysis of the return of al-Qa`ida’s leadership to Afghanistan and the ease with which the group survived in a complex environment with a small presence, see Kevin Bell, Usama bin Ladin’s “Father Sheikh”: Yunus Khalis and the Return of al-Qa`ida’s Leadership to Afghanistan (West Point, NY: Combating Terrorism Center, 2013).

[r] The al-Nour party in Egypt is another recent example of a Salafi political party that participated in elections in 2011-2012. Of course, since this party has supported the current government in Cairo, its stock among many Salafis has fallen.

[s] HIG is often viewed as having its ideological roots in the Muslim Brotherhood.

[1] “The Declaration of the Islamic Emirate of Kunar,” Da’wat, Issue 12 (March 1991), p. 6.

[2] For an author explicitly connecting the 2009 siege of the Ibn Taymiyya mosque by Hamas to the killing of al-Rahman, see Abu Muslim al-Jaza’iri, “The Tragedy of the Ibn Taymiyya Mosque,” Tawhed blog, August 18, 2009, (Vahid Brown translation). For a discussion of al-Rahman’s politics of takfir and his enmity with Gulbuddin Hekmatyar by al-Qa`ida leader Fazul ‘Abdullah Muhammad, the lead planner of the 1998 East Africa bombings, see Fazul ‘Abdullah Muhammad, The War on Islam, 2 vols., distributed online February 2009, p. 193, 225, (Vahid Brown translation). See also Usama bin Ladin, “Jihad and Overcoming Obstacles.” Transcript of lecture. Nakhba al-`Ilam al-Jihadi, nd., np., (Vahid Brown translation); Abu Basir al-Tartusi, “Abu Basir al-Tartusi’s Full Dialogue with The Newspaper ‘Al-Sabil,’” Tartusi blog, July 11, 2009; Muqbil bin Hadi al-Wadi’i, “The Killing of Shaykh Jamil al-Rahman al-Afghani,” Muqbil blog, August 18, 2005, (Vahid Brown translation); “Biography of Sheikh Jamil al-Rahman,” Ajurry blog, January 2012, (Vahid Brown translation).

[3] See Thomas Ruttig, “On Kunar’s Salafi Insurgents,” Afghan Analysts Network blog, January 14, 2010; David Edwards, Before Taliban: Genealogies of the Afghan Jihad, (Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2002), pp. 153-156; and Peter Tomsen, The Wars of Afghanistan (New York: PublicAffairs, 2013), pp. 367-390.

[4] “The Life, Call and Jihad of the Martyr Sheikh Jamil al-Rahman,” Da’wat, Issue 17 (January 1992), p. 18.

[5] “Kunar from the Beginning of the Jihad to Now,” Da’wat, Issue 15-16 (September 1991), p. 26. Note: These two issues were published as a single, longer volume.

[6] “The Declaration of the Islamic Emirate of Kunar,” p. 6.

[7] “The Declaration of the Islamic Emirate of Kunar,” p. 6.

[8] “Kunar from the Beginning of the Jihad to Now,” p. 26.

[9] “The Declaration of the Islamic Emirate of Kunar,” p. 6.

[10] Steve Coll, Ghost Wars (New York: Penguin Books, 2004), p. 113.

[11] Kevin Bell, Usama bin Ladin’s “Father Sheikh”: Yunus Khalis and the Return of al-Qa`ida’s Leadership to Afghanistan (West Point, NY: Combating Terrorism Center, 2013), pp. 14 and 22-26.

[12] For more information about the political infighting among the Sunni mujahideen leadership, see Olivier Roy, Islam and Resistance in Afghanistan. 2nd. Translated by Gwydir St. First Edition (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1990); and Edwards.

[13] ‘Abd al-Rahim Muslim Dost and Ustad Badr al-Zaman Badr, The Broken Chains of Guantanamo (Peshawar, Pakistan: Khilafat Publishing Company, 2007), p.13.

[14] “Facsimile of Declaration of Support for the Islamic Emirate of Kunar by Hizb-e Islami (Gulbuddin) Leaders,” Da’wat, Issue 12, (March 1991), p. 8. The handwritten original document is reproduced in facsimile.

[15] “Kunar from the Beginning of the Jihad to Now,” p. 27.

[16] Ibid.

[17] “The Life, Call and Jihad of the Martyr Sheikh Jamil al-Rahman,” p. 18; and Tomsen, p. 387.

[18] Tomsen, p. 386.

[19] “The Life, Call and Jihad of the Martyr Sheikh Jamil al-Rahman,” p. 18.

[20] Ibid.

[21] For more on the distribution of funds and weapons to the recognized mujahideen parties, see Barnett Rubin, The Fragmentation of Afghanistan: State Formation and Collapse in the International System. 2d ed. (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2002), p. 199.

[22] Tomsen, p. 387.

[23] For details about these initial attacks and aggressions by HIG, see “Kunar from the Beginning of the Jihad to Now,” pp. 27-28.

[24] Tomsen, p. 387.

[25] Tomsen, p. 387.

[26] Tomsen, p. 388.

[27] “The Life, Call and Jihad of the Martyr Sheikh Jamil al-Rahman,” p. 20; and Tomsen, p. 388. These are probably the same mediators mentioned at “Kunar from the Beginning of the Jihad to Now,” pp. 29-30.

[28] “The Life, Call and Jihad of the Martyr Sheikh Jamil al-Rahman,” p. 20.

[29] Tomsen, p. 389.

[30] See Usama bin Ladin; Abu Basir al-Tartusi; Muqbil bin Hadi al-Wadi’i; “Biography of Sheikh Jamil al-Rahman.”

[31] Abu Basir al-Tartusi.

[32] Thomas Joscelyn, “Gitmo ‘Poet’ Now Recruiting for Islamic State,” Weekly Standard, November 19, 2014.

[33] Muslim Dost, p. 13.

[34] Muslim Dost, pp. 14-16.

[35] “The Life, Call and Jihad of the Martyr Sheikh Jamil al-Rahman,” pp. 17-18.

[36] Jamil al-Rahman, The Ahl-e Hadith: One of the Mujahidin Parties of Afghanistan (Peshawar, Pakistan: The Committee for Invitation and Guidance, 1987), pp. 80-81, (Sheikh Ghulamullah translation to Persian); “Who Brought about the Term ‘Wahhabi,’” Da’wat, Issue 14 (July 1991), p. 26; Asadullah Matin, “The Doctrine of Polytheism and Polytheists,” Da’wat, Issue 12 (March 1991), pp. 11-16.

[37] Saleem Mehsud, “Kunduz Breakthrough Bolsters Mullah Mansoor as Taliban Leader,” CTC Sentinel 8:10 (2015): pp. 30-33.

[38] See Rubin; Edwards; Roy; Bell; and Muslim Dost, p. 13.

[39] For more on the connections between the Islamic Emirate of Kunar and various Arab Salafi and mujahideen leaders, see the chapter on the connections between Gulf Arab members of the Salafi movement and the Islamic Emirate of Kunar by Vahid Brown in a forthcoming edited volume from Hurst tentatively titled Islam between the Gulf and South Asia.

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