In an excerpt of an interview with Al Jazeera English’s “UpFront”, Karzai said “I don’t know if Al Qaeda existed and I don’t know if they exist in Afghanistan.”
The interview will be aired on Friday the 14th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks in New York, Virginia and Pennsylvania that claimed the lives of nearly 3,000.
In response to a question regarding the former president’s opinion on whether the former Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden plotted the attacks from Afghanistan, Karzai said, “That is what I have heard from our Western friends. That is what the Western media says.”
He also added “I have not seen them and I’ve not had any report about them, any report that would indicate that Al Qaeda is operating in Afghanistan.”
In other parts of the preview, Karzai said pointed to neighboring Pakistani militants for fomenting the rise of the Islamic State in Afghanistan.
Denying any Afghan link to the group, Karzai noted that those who have been captured have been found with ID cards.
He said “There is no element, there is no medium, for them to grow, or to rise, or to strengthen.”