Taliban peace deal hinges on US surrender of zookeeper who killed Harambe

DOHA, Qatar – The Taliban has unexpectedly called for the extradition of the zookeeper who killed Harambe the gorilla, State Department officials confirmed today. The move has cast a pall of uncertainty just ahead of the deadline for a peace deal between the US and the Taliban.

Harambe, a prominent Ohioan who achieved global celebrity status in May 2016, was shot and killed in what the Taliban publicly decried as a “senseless act of brutality.”

“The men are restless knowing Harambe’s murderer roams the infidel wastelands a free man,” said Taliban spokesperson Suhail Shaheen, acknowledging the seven-day reduction in violence that began last Friday.

“It’s obvious that Harambe was only trying to protect that innocent child,” he added.

The US and Taliban are expected to sign a peace deal on Feb. 29. If all proceeds as hoped, it would mark the conclusion of hostilities spanning over 18 years.

“If I had a son, he would have looked like Harambe,” declared Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, a Taliban co-founder involved with US peace negotiations. “We will not rest until we have invoked Allah’s divine wrath upon this nonbeliever. Only then will we have true and lasting peace.”

The White House has not indicated any intention to meet the Taliban’s demands. However, sources within the State Department aren’t ruling out the possibility of an extradition, given the War’s ever-increasing unpopularity in a hotly contested election year.

“It’s highly unusual for the Taliban to be so profoundly impacted by the death of an American citizen,” said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. “I empathize with them. Harambe was the best of us.”

Harambe had just turned 17 the day before his death and would be 20 years old today. He is survived by the Internet.