Kabul, AFGHANISTAN – A newspaper in the United Kingdom published pictures of a Taliban commander and his fighters posing for pictures with their weapons inside the former Afghan National Police Academy in Kabul.
In the photos that were taken on Aug. 24, a Connecticut state trooper’s hat that had been gifted to Afghan police trainees by the Americans who trained them was displayed prominently on the desk in front of them, The Sun reported.
The picture showed Taliban Commander Qasi Ali sitting behind the mahogany desk surrounded by armed Taliban fighters in the training facility used by U.S.-led NATO forces on the eastern outskirts of the Afghan capital, the New York Post reported.
“Look at this office. We haven’t looted anything,” Ali told The Sun.
The Connecticut State Police trooper’s hat was sitting next to a British police helmet that had also been a gift to the Afghan police trainees, the New York Post reported.
Connecticut State Police Spokesman Brian Foley said that hundreds of active and retired Connecticut state troopers had served in the military overseas and that the exchange of police hats and patches was a traditional sign trust and respect, the New Haven Register reported.
“While it is impossible to definitively determine, it is plausible and we believe that a retired trooper of the rank of lieutenant or higher, deployed overseas, exchanged the [state police] hat for this honorable purpose,” Foley told reporters on Sept. 1
“We are proud of the military service of our troopers both active and retired and have a deep appreciation of the sacrifices they have all made,” he added.
The Taliban commander showed The Sun that his men had not looted the building which still had a full office setup with computers in place.
Ali said even the CCTV still worked.
He also claimed to have called the training facility’s civilian staff – including cooks and electricians – and told them to come back to work, The Sun reported.
— Neil Henderson (@hendopolis) August 30, 2021
The United States completed its military withdrawal from Afghanistan on Aug. 31 but the Pentagon has said there are still “several hundred” Americans trapped within the volatile country’s borders, the New York Post reported.
Ali told The Sun that those foreigners who were left behind had nothing to fear from the Taliban.
“I don’t know why people are scared,” the commander said. “The Taliban have brought security.”