Taliban ‘very interested’ in debate, watched from secret location

Taliban ‘very interested’ in debate, watched from secret location
© Getty Images

Taliban leaders were eager to tune in to Monday evening’s presidential debate between Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says 'Failing New York Times' should be held 'fully accountable' over Russia report Trump says 'Failing New York Times' should be held 'fully accountable' over Russia report Trump tweets ICE will begin removing 'millions' of undocumented migrants MORE and Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonBroadway play 'Hillary and Clinton' closing early due to low ticket sales Broadway play 'Hillary and Clinton' closing early due to low ticket sales Facing challenge from Warren, Sanders touts strength against Trump MORE, a spokesman for the fundamentalist group told NBC News.

“We were very interested in watching,” Zabihullah Mujahid told the news outlet.

ADVERTISEMENT

Leaders watched the debate from a secret location in Afghanistan, Mujahid said.

But because the candidates did not once mention a plan for Afghanistan after President Obama leaves office, Mujahid said the insurgents heard little of interest.

"There's nothing of interest to us in the debate, as both of them said little about Afghanistan and their future plans for the country," Mujahid told NBC.

Still, the spokesman called Trump, the Republican nominee, "non-serious."

The Taliban, a militant Islamist group, was forced out of power by a U.S.-led invasion in 2001 and has since been at war with the Washington-backed government in Kabul.

The Obama administration is preparing to keep thousands of U.S. troops stationed in Afghanistan after the president leaves office next year, after 15 years of military action there.

Neither candidate has talked extensively about plans for peace in Afghanistan and ending the U.S. mission there, but both seem to support the president’s decision to leave military forces in the country.