Taliban terrorist group keep close ties with Al-Qaeda
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- Taliban The Taliban , alternatively spelled Taleban, is an Islamic fundamentalist political...[+]
- Al-Qaeda Al-Qaeda is a global militant Islamist organization founded by Osama bin...[+]
Affected Countries: afghanistan;
Taliban has kept up a close relationship with Al-Qaeda despite having pledged to stop cooperating with the group, according to the head of a UN panel monitoring the insurgency reported by NBC news.
“We believe that the top leadership of Al-Qaeda is still under Taliban protection,” said the head of the UNB panel that tracks terrorist groups in Afghanistan.
The Taliban’s association with Al-Qaeda has continued even though the Taliban signed an agreement with the US a year ago that bans cooperation with or hosting of groups — and despite a public statement by Trump administration Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that the Taliban had “made the break with terrorist groups.”
“There is still clearly a close relationship between Al Qaeda and the Taliban,” said Edmund Fitton-Brown, the coordinator of the UN panel responsible for tracking the Taliban and terrorist groups in Afghanistan.
The reports of the UN Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team are based in part on information shared by foreign governments’ intelligence services.
“We believe that the top leadership of Al Qaeda is still under Taliban protection,” he said.
According to the UN monitoring team’s last report in January, there are 200 to 500 Al-Qaeda fighters across about 11 Afghan provinces.
Experts say untangling two groups that have lived and fought alongside each other for decades — and have even intermarried — will be difficult.
US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan in a telephonic conversation with his Afghan counterpart Hamdullah Mohib on Jan. 22 said the Biden administration would review the Trump administration’s February 2020 US-Taliban agreement, the White House said in a press release.
There are 2,500 troops left in Afghanistan, and the agreement between the Taliban and former US President Trump stipulated that all of them should be removed by May 2021.
Early February, Republican US Senator Lindsey Graham in an interview with CBS has said that the American troops will not leave Afghanistan in May, supporting the Biden administration’s stance on Afghanistan and its bid to review the US-Taliban agreement.
“I’m very pleased with what the Biden administration is proposing for Afghanistan. We’re going to keep troops there on a conditions-based approach,” Graham said.
In response to a question that will the US troops leave Afghanistan post may, Graham said, “I think we’re not going to leave in May. We’re going to leave when the conditions are right. The the Taliban have been cheating. They haven’t been complying. And so I like what Secretary Blinken and the Biden administration is doing.”
“They’re reevaluating our presence in Afghanistan to keep the footprint low, but not to walk away and lose all the gains we’ve achieved,” Graham said. “If we leave too soon without a conditions-based withdrawal, Daesh and al-Qaeda will come roaring back. Women will suffer greatly. So they’re in a good spot, I think, on Afghanistan.”
Source: Tolo News