17 Laws Every Taliban Militant Needs To Follow

"I will kill you if you do a suicide mission without authority. And NO smoking!"

“I will kill you if you do a suicide mission without authority. And NO smoking!”

During my embed in Afghanistan with the 101st Airborne’s Task Force Rakkasan a few years ago I saw this tacked to one of the plywood walls of the tactical operations center at Forward Operating Base Rushmore in the heart of Paktika Province. These are actual la’iha (laws) put out by (the late) Mullah Mohammed Omar for his fellow Taliban to follow:

  1. MMO is the supreme leader of the Taliban, or “Emir al Mu’manin” (“Leader of the Faithful”).
  2. Taliban will constructively engage tribal leaders and seek to offer support to the local population.
  3. Commanders should, when possible, be reassigned to their ancestral tribal areas.
  4. Captured enemy personnel will be taken to provincial commanders immediately.
  5. Spies cannot be executed without due process, which is also clearly defined.
  6. No Taliban will take bribes.
  7. No Taliban will steal.
  8. No Taliban will kidnap for ransom inside Afghanistan.
  9. No Taliban will use torture on captured persons.
  10. No mutilation, even of corpses.
  11. There will be no more beheadings, only firing squads.
  12. No executions will be videotaped.
  13. No suicide attack will be conducted unless approved by a higher authority.
  14. Any former government official seeking to join the Taliban must kill or capture a high-ranking enemy to prove himself loyal.
  15. Captured enemy money and items must be distributed fairly, not kept for personal gain.
  16. Provincial authorities will be established, creating standardized legal, political, and military structures.
  17. No smoking.