There was “no proof” that Osama bin Laden was involved in September 11, 2001, attack, The Washington Post reported quoting Taliban spokesman.
Bin Laden’s well-documented role as the plotter of the attacks made him the most wanted fugitive in the world until he was killed by US Navy SEALs in 2011.
The spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid made the remark after the group pledged not to allow Afghanistan to be used once again as a base for al-Qaeda.
“When Osama bin Laden became an issue for the Americans, he was in Afghanistan. Although there was no proof he was involved” in 9/11, Mujahid told NBC News in an interview broadcast Wednesday.
“Now, we have given promises that Afghan soil won’t be used against anyone,” the report quoted Mujahid as saying.
The report said al-Qaeda has been substantially weakened since 2001, and its members remain in Afghanistan.
In April, the US intelligence community told Congress that al-Qaeda “will continue to plot attacks and seek to exploit conflicts in different regions.”
The United Nations warned in June that al-Qaeda was present in 15 of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces, mostly in the country’s eastern and southern regions.
The Taliban and al-Qaeda “remain closely aligned and show no indication of breaking ties,” the UN report said.
The report quoting Afghanistan analyst Abdul Sayed said the relationship was “cordial and stronger than in the pre-9/11 period.”