The Pakistani Taliban said it retaliated against the Pakistani military for a US drone strike that killed Abdullah, a “master in electronics.” The US has launched at least three drone strikes in Pakistan so far this year.
The Taliban continues its offensive in Kandahar. Afghan officials report that at least 18 soldiers were killed and four more were captured during another Taliban assault on a military base in Shah Wali Kot.
Taliban fighters overran a large military base earlier this week, and launched attacks on other installations throughout the province. The fighting in Kandahar takes place as the Taliban remains on the offensive on several fronts throughout the country as part of Operation Mansouri.
The operation took place just days after the US Treasury Department listed two tribal leaders from Marib as global terrorists for supporting al Qaeda.
Al Qaeda released an audio message from Hamza bin Laden and a news bulletin during President Trump’s recent visit to Saudi Arabia. Hamza does not mention the American delegation, but he does criticize the Saudi family’s historical dealings with the British. The one-page newsletter specifically addresses Trump’s visit and claims that a new center for combating extremism in Riyadh will really be used “to fight faith, purity, and commitment.”
Seven years after the US withdrawal from Kunar, the Taliban and allied jihadist groups continue to wield significant influence in the province.
Jamaat ul Dawa al Quran is an excellent example of the complex and evolving network of jihadist groups that operate in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region. The three designated leaders have been tied to al Qaeda, the Taliban, Lashkar-e-Taiba, and the Islamic State.
The $10 million reward makes Julani one of the top five most wanted jihadist leaders in the world.