Hamid Karzai, the former president of Afghanistan, has questioned the existence of al-Qaida, and denied that the 9/11 terror attacks which killed nearly 3,000 people were planned in Afghanistan.

On the eve of the anniversary of the 2001 attacks, Karzai, who left office last year after 12 years, used an interview with al Jazeera to express his doubt that the terrorist group led by the late Osama bin Laden was responsible for the operation which prompted the invasion of Afghanistan.

“I don’t know if al-Qaida existed and I don’t know if they exist,” said Karzai. “I have not seen them and I’ve not had any report about them, any report that would indicate that al-Qaida is operating in Afghanistan. It is for me a myth […] For us, they don’t exist.”

Karzai, who had a poor relationship with successive leaders in Pakistan, also claimed in the interview that Islamic State fighters in Afghanistan are “definitely” members of “Pakistani militias”.

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