Taliban on track for revenge: Jihadists look for translators once Western troops leave Afghanistan
- Taliban began raiding homes of interpreters left behind in Kabul yesterday
- Former translators hid when armed jihadists seeking revenge started knocking on doors
- Despite a promise of amnesty from the Taliban leaders, the insurgents wasted no time tracking down the “traitors” who aided the British.
Within hours of the departure of Western troops, triumphant Taliban fighters yesterday began raiding the homes of interpreters left behind in Kabul.
The terrified former translators hid as armed, vengeful jihadists went door to door.
Despite a promise of amnesty from the Taliban leadership, the insurgents wasted no time tracking down the “traitors” who aided the British.
One search group is said to have been led by an imam who is now a local Taliban commander. He knew ex-translator Kaleem, a five-year veteran on the front lines with British troops.
Taliban fighters (pictured) began raiding the homes of interpreters left behind in Kabul yesterday, within hours of Western troops leaving
Kaleem told the Mail: ‘The mullah knew me from the mosque. Everyone knew that he was Taliban and that he had been arrested by the Afghan government. But when all the prisoners were released, he was one of them leading the hunt for those who were the eyes of Western troops.”
Kaleem, 35, qualified to move to the UK but among hundreds was unable to board an evacuation flight due to chaos around Kabul airport.
He said, ‘He knocked on the door. He was with bodyguards wearing AK-47s and asked where I was, but my family said I wasn’t there. They were very scared.
“They thought they were going to be taken away. I was in hiding and didn’t move. We thought they would search the house but they didn’t and warned they would return. We are all terrified that they will find me or punish the family if they don’t. I’ll die if they find me.’
Kaleem added: “No one believes the Taliban’s words of forgiveness. We helped the British kill and capture their men.
“We have provided the intelligence to fight them. We’ve interrogated their captured and wounded, so it’s simple they want revenge.’
Former interpreters – many foreigners in the capital – regularly move to hiding places. They purge phones of photos and numbers connecting them to Britain.
They fear their biometrics are now with the Taliban after they seized the data of thousands of Afghans who worked with foreign troops and the government. When Taliban fighters took Kabul, some immediately went to the headquarters of the National Directorate for Security and the Ministry of Communications with the apparent aim of securing the files of Afghan intelligence officers and their informants.
For Faiz, 31, the knock on the door of the house in Kabul where he was staying with his wife and five children caused panic.
His wife answered as he escaped through a window at the back, hiding among rubbish. Faiz, who worked for British troops for more than three years, said this is the third house they have moved to since the Taliban arrived in Kabul. He was rejected for relocation because he was fired.
Threat: Fardin, 40, (pictured) who worked with British troops for over 15 years and came to Britain in July with his wife and six children, says his family in Afghanistan has been targeted
Faiz said, “I think informants among our neighbors have given up on us. Every house we go to, I have to find an escape route. This happened to me because I worked for the British and was left behind.’
The cases of Faiz and Kaleem have been highlighted by the Mail’s award-winning Betrayal of the Brave campaign.
Dozens of people who risked their lives alongside British soldiers have been brought to the UK. But they have told how their families have been targeted.
Fardin, 40, worked with British troops for over 15 years and came to Britain in July with his wife and six children.
He said: ‘The Taliban came to our house and asked about me. When my brother said I was gone, they called him a liar, beat and yelled at him, loaded their AK-47s and pointed them at him.
“They intimidated the family – no one knew if they would open fire. They searched the house and said the issue of my location was open and they would come get me.”
He added: “Everyone is very scared because I was famous, so they want to be an example of my family. We feel powerless and don’t know what to do. My family is their target because of me.’