Al Qaeda remains “strongly integrated” with the Afghan Taliban, according to a UN counterterrorism expert

0
91
Taliban prisoners released NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL OF (FILE photo) 5/25/2020

The fundamentalist group founded by Mullah Omar would have promised the terrorist network that they will remain allies despite the peace agreement

The terrorist network Al Qaeda continues to be “strongly integrated” with the Afghan Taliban, despite the peace agreement signed in February with the United States in Doha, according to the coordinator of the Taliban, Al Qaeda Monitoring Team and Islamic State of the United Nations, Edmund Fitton-Brown.

The anti-terrorist expert has assured that the Taliban promised Al Qaeda before the signing of the peace agreement with the United States that they would remain allied groups. In the text signed on February 29 with the United States in Doha, the Taliban explicitly pledged not to allow other terrorist groups to use Afghan territory to launch international attacks.

“The Taliban were speaking periodically and at a very high level with Al Qaeda and reaffirmed that they would continue to maintain their historical ties,” Fitton-Brown warned. Relations between Al Qaeda and the Afghan Taliban “have not changed substantially” since the signing of the peace agreement.

“Al Qaeda is strongly integrated with the Taliban and has a good agreement on military training and actions. That has not changed,” he said. When the United States launched its military intervention in Afghanistan after the September 11 attacks, the main objective it used to justify the deployment was to end the threat of Al Qaeda and overthrow the regime led by the Taliban, which was giving refuge to the leader of the terrorist network, Usama bin Laden.

Al Qaeda has lost strength and capacity to attack the West in the last decade but its leader, the Egyptian Ayman al Zawahiri, is believed to remain in hiding in Afghan territory along with other leaders of the terrorist group. Last Saturday, Afghan Intelligence reported the death of Husam Abd al Rauf, an Egyptian al Qaeda leader, in an operation in Ghazni province.

AL QAEDA REMAINS A THREAT IN AFGHANISTAN
The United Nations counterterrorism expert has warned that al-Qaeda, while now having a lower profile, remains “dangerous” and “resilient.”

Since the signing of the Doha peace agreement, the Taliban have stressed that their objective remains to establish an Islamic system and have ensured that they will no longer attack the international military forces, although they have not stopped reinforcing their campaign of attacks. against the security forces under the command of Kabul.

Fitton-Brown has said that he has received reports that the Taliban are forcing some Pakistani militiamen to register with their ranks and comply with a code that prohibits them from carrying out attacks outside of Afghan territory.

The UN counterterrorism expert has said that it is not clear whether this code is also applied by the Taliban to Al Qaeda militiamen or whether it is an “irrevocable” decision to prevent international attacks launched from Afghan soil.

For his part, the US State Department’s antiterrorist coordinator, Ambassador Nathan Sales, has told the BBC that the US government expects the Taliban to fulfill the commitments included in the Doha peace agreement.

“We hope that the Taliban will honor the commitments they made to end all connections with terrorist organizations in Afghanistan. We intend to continue to monitor the situation closely to ensure that they keep their word,” he said.

A diplomat who has followed the peace process in Afghanistan has stated that plans for the withdrawal of US troops from the Central Asian country are not based on meeting the “conditions” agreed in the Qatari capital on February 29 without or in the political “agenda” of the US Government.

Rahmatulá Andar, a former Taliban commander who is now a spokesman for the Afghan Government’s National Security Council, has warned of the risk that Al Qaeda and other militant groups will re-emerge on Afghan soil. “The Americans may think that the agreement they have signed with the Taliban will solve everything, but time will show that it has not,” he predicted.

© 2020 Europa Press.

Leave a Reply