Russia is openly advocating on behalf of the Taliban, arguing that the jihadist group should be considered a bulwark against the Islamic State’s branch in Afghanistan. But the Taliban is a bigger threat to Afghan security than Abu Bakr al Baghdadi’s men, the organization remains closely allied with al Qaeda and its own extremism should not be downplayed.
The designations of Al-Muhammadia Students and LeT leaders Muhammad Sarwar and Shahid Mahmood highlight LeT’s role in international terrorism and its adeptness in using front organizations to skirt international sanctions.
Islamic State’s Khorasan province and the Karachi faction of the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan both claimed credit for the attack on a police academy in Quetta that killed more than 60 cadets. Pakistani officials claimed the suicide assault was executed by Lashkar-e-Jhangvi al Almi.
India said it killed “up to 38 terrorists and Pakistani soldiers” in cross-border strikes against seven different targets in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. India claimed it recorded the raids via drones. Pakistan denied Indian troops entered its territory.
US and Afghan forces struck a group of leaders and operatives from the Pakistan-based Movement of the Taliban in South Waziristan, the Haqqani Network, and al Qaeda in the province of Paktika, according to reports from the region. At least one senior leader, known as Azam Tariq, is thought to have been killed in the strike.
The video of fighters purportedly training and firing RPGs in the open in Swabi indicates that the Taliban have returned.
The National Directorate of Security, Afghanistan intelligence agency, raided an al Qaeda encampment and killed five Pakistani terrorists in the southeastern province of Zabul.
Jihadists killed 17 Indian troops and wounded dozens more in a suicide assault on a military base in Jammu and Kashmir. Jaish-e-Mohammed is thought to have carried out a similar attack on an Indian air base in January.