By: Lailuma Noori
Based on the United Nations sanctions committee, the number of members of al Qaeda in Afghanistan has reached from 400 to 600.
In its latest report, the Long War Journal has said that al Qaeda is operating in 18 provinces of Afghanistan. Fighters of the terrorist network and other groups linking to al Qaeda have involved in dozens of terrorist attacks in various provinces of the country months after the US – Taliban deal.
The report states that Thabat, a weekly Al Qaeda newsletter that covers its operations across the globe and is analogous to Daesh’s Al Naba news service, has noted multiple reports of Al Qaeda’s activities in Afghanistan.
“Al Qaeda’s enduring presence in Afghanistan is visible both through press reporting on Coalition operations against the terror group, and Thabat, al Qaeda’s own media arm that has noted the groups operate in 18 provinces,” said the report.
“Afghan press reports from Sept. 2020 to present confirm that al Qaeda and its allies are operating in seven of the provinces noted by Thabat,” according to the report by Long War Journal.
Badakhshan, Balkh, Faryab, Farah, Ghazni, Helmand, Jawzjan, Kapisa, Kabul, Kandahar, Kunar, Khost, Logar, Nangarhar, Takhar, Uruzgan and Zabul have been listed as provinces where al Qaeda is operational.
On other hand, the UN sanctions committee is pointing to evidence showing close relations between Taliban and al Qaeda. The committee says al Qaeda is operating under the umbrella of Taliban in Afghanistan.
The terrorist network’s fighters are fighting in support of the Taliban group.
Besides, its members are training Taliban in making bombs and mines.
It is said that close relations between Taliban and al Qaeda have helped in expansion and increasing other terrorist groups in Afghanistan. According to Afghanistan government, more than 20 terrorist groups are operating under Taliban’s umbrella. Most members of terrorist groups are from regional countries such as Iran, China, Russia, Tajikistan and the Middle East countries.
In addition, the UN is also hinting on relations between Taliban and Pakistan as their relations have helped the Taliban group to expand its cooperation and relations with various terrorist groups in the region.
For example, the Taliban group with close cooperation of al Qaeda has created several terrorist groups and brought them under one umbrella. Most members of the these groups are Pakistani national and this dangerous unity has changed to a big threat to the regional countries.
The Tahreek Taliban Pakistan (TTP) is monitoring on the unity, while al Qaeda is mediating between them. It seems that the unity will pose increasing threats to Afghanistan, Pakistan and the region.
This comes amid of efforts towards preparation for Turkey’s Istanbul peace meeting between Afghanistan government and Taliban.
The Taliban group has been committed to cutting links with al Qaeda, but recent reports have shown that the groups is still linking with al Qaeda in Afghanistan.