The Taliban have begun conducting door-to-door searches for people they believe worked for US-led forces and the previous Afghan administration — despite their “no-revenge” promise, according to a Norwegian intelligence group.
A report by the nonprofit RHIPTO Norwegian Center for Global Analyses, seen by Reuters, said the insurgents were hunting for people linked to the previous administration, which fell Sunday when the Islamist militant movement took Kabul.
“Taliban are intensifying the hunt-down of all individuals and collaborators with the former regime, and if unsuccessful, target and arrest the families and punish them according to their own interpretation of Sharia law,” the report said, according to the news service.
“Particularly at risk are individuals in central positions in military, police and investigative units,” it added.
The Norwegian group, which conducts independent intelligence assessments, said its report on the Taliban was shared with agencies and individuals working within the United Nations.
“This is not a report produced by the United Nations, but rather by the Norwegian Center for Global Analyses,” a UN official said when asked for comment.
Christian Nellemann, who heads the group, told the BBC: “There are a high number of individuals that are currently being targeted by the Taliban and the threat is crystal clear.
“It is in writing that, unless they give themselves in, the Taliban will arrest and prosecute, interrogate and punish family members on behalf of those individuals,” Nellemann said.
A Taliban spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment by Reuters.
Since toppling the Afghan government, the Taliban have declared an “amnesty” and sought to present a more moderate face to the world — vowing they wanted peace and would not take revenge against their old foes.
The report reproduced a letter it said had been written to one alleged collaborator who has been seized from his Kabul apartment and detained for questioning over his role as a counter-terrorism official in the previous government.
The letter from the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s Military Commission said the detainee had traveled to the UK as part of his role “which indicates you have had excellent relations with the American and British,” according to Reuters, which said it could not independently verify its authenticity.
Its translation reportedly continued: “If you do not report to the commission, your family members will be arrested instead, and you are responsible for this. You and your family members will be treated based on Sharia law.”
The detainee’s name was redacted.
Meanwhile, a senior member of the security forces of the previous administration sent a message to journalists saying the Taliban had obtained secret national security documents and were arresting former intelligence and security officials, according to Reuters.
On Friday, a NATO official said that more than 18,000 people have been evacuated in the last five days from the Kabul airport.
Some 6,000 more, among them former interpreters for foreign armed forces, are on standby to be flown out, according to the BBC.