i-Phone loving ex-Taliban Leader & David Hicks

i-Phone loving ex-Taliban Leader Mullah Zaeef in Kabul.

Photo copyright Sasha Uzunov 2007.

Apple i-Phone loving Afghan Mullah who once condemned David Hicks.
Here’s a quirky story about an ex-Taliban leader Mullah Zaeef who loves his Apple iPhone that ran in the AP wire on March 3, 2009.

I had the good fortune to interview this guy, Mullah Zaeef in 2007 in Kabul, Afghanistan. I have him on video tape talking about Australian terrorism supporter David Hicks. See below the link to my Herald Sun article.

This was an exclusive story at the time! It ran in the Herald Sun and Daily Telegraph… I have video footage of the Mullah Zaeef condemning Hicks.
I wonder if Mullah Zaeef will give David Hicks a call on his new i-Phone?
In 2008 it was reported that Hicks was planning to marry a Sydney university student and he had consulted a christian pastor…

David Hicks plans to marry girlfriend Aloysha Brooks, says pastor
By Verity Edwards, The Australian, December 24, 2008

Afghan tech boom: Mullah embraces iPhone
Press (AP) – March 3, 2007. KABUL –
Mullah Abdul Salaam Zaeef is a former Taliban ambassador to Pakistan. He spent almost four years in Guantanamo. He wears a black turban, has a thick beard — and is never without his Apple iPhone.
The ultra-conservative Taliban banned modern technology like the Internet and TV during its harsh 1996-2001 rule, but those items have boomed in Afghanistan since the regime’s 2001 ouster, helping to bring the country into the 21st century.
Zaeef, who reconciled with the Afghan government after being released from U.S. custody, says he uses his iPhone to surf the Internet and find difficult locations, employing the built-in GPS. He even checks his bank account balance online. “It’s easy and modern and I love it,”
Zaeef said as he pinched and pulled his fingers across the iPhone’s touch screen last week. “This is necessary in the world today. People want to progress.”

Sasha Uzunov dressed in native Afghan clothes behind the camera taping Mullah Zaeef. On the right is Canadian journalist David Pugliese, also in native dress. (Photo by Scott Taylor)

by Sasha Uzunov

David Hicks, the Australian convicted of supporting terrorism in Afghanistan, has been in the news again.
Whatever you think of David Hicks, there is certainly more to the story than meets the eye.
In May 2007 as an Australian journalist, along with Canadian colleagues, Scott Taylor and David Pugliese we were granted an interview with a former Taliban Ambassador to Pakistan, who spent 4 years in Guantanamo Bay, and were surprised to hear his negative thoughts about David Hicks…
This was an exclusive Australian story in the Melbourne Herald Sun newspaper at the time.
I also video taped an interview with the ex-Taliban diplomat.

David Hicks not ‘true Muslim’

by Sasha Uzunov, May 17, 2007 12:00am

DAVID Hicks was not a true Muslim and was regarded as a possible spy by other accused terrorists at Guantanamo Bay, says a former inmate and one-time Taliban diplomat.
“All the people, including me and the Arabs, we’re thinking he was a spy,” said Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef, back in Afghanistan after spending nearly four years in US custody including at Guantanamo Bay.
“He was separated from us. The Americans were scared he would be killed by the other prisoners,” the Afghan man said in an interview in Kabul. “He was not a true Muslim.”
After five years in US custody, Hicks is expected to leave Guantanamo Bay within days for Australia, where he will serve nine months in a jail near Adelaide before being set free. He is being returned to Australia under a deal after pleading guilty in a US military commission to a charge of providing material support for terrorism.
Hicks was captured in Afghanistan in late 2001, where he was accused of training with al-Qaida and of fighting alongside Taliban troops. But Zaeef, a former Taliban minister and ambassador to Pakistan, denied Hicks was part of the Taliban regime, toppled from power in Afghanistan by the US invasion in 2001.
After his release without charge by the US, Zaeef now lives in Kabul but under the close watch of the Hamid Karzai Government, which provides a security guard for his protection. Zaeef said he was not in contact with the current Taliban leadership, who are fighting Australian and other coalition troops. He said Australia was now an enemy of the Afghan people because it had supported the US-led war in Afghanistan. Zaeef said coalition forces had killed a lot of Afghani people.
“And the people became enemies of the Americans, of the Canadians and others,” he said.
“People are not thinking the Americans, the Canadians are neutral, that they have come for peace and stability. “The people are thinking that the Canadians, the British, the Americans are all enemies since they are killing us.”

NATO, U.S. stand in way of peace in Afghanistan: Taliban chief
Most Afghans blame foreign forces for civilian deaths, former official saysDavid Pugliese, The Ottawa Citizen. Published: Wednesday, May 09, 2007