With increased muscle, backing and resources, the TTP – which sent thousands of fighters into Afghanistan to help the Afghan Taliban conquer the country over the summer – can now refocus its efforts on its insurgency in order to overthrow the Pakistani state.
With control of the Ministry of Interior, Sirajuddin now has the power to issue passports to Al Qaeda operatives and their allies, all in the name of the government of Afghanistan.
The Taliban appointed former Guantanamo Bay detainee Mullah Abdul Qayyum Zakir as a deputy minister of defense, while Ibrahim Sadr, who has worked closely with Iran in the past, was named a deputy minister of the interior for security.
Mullah Sangeen Zadran, a senior Taliban and Haqqani Network leader, was intricately linked to Al Qaeda. he viewed the two groups as inseparable “brothers.” The U.S. killed Sangeen and an Al Qaeda bomb maker in a drone strike in Pakistan in 2013.
The video of Dr. Amin al Haq is evidence that Al Qaeda commanders now feel secure enough to appear publicly in a Taliban-controlled Afghanistan.
Prospects for this resistance, lead by Amrullah Saleh, are dim. He has a formidable task ahead of him and his prospects are bleak. The Taliban will seek to crush this last bastion of resistance.
The Taliban took control of the provinces of Paktika, Paktia, Faryab, Laghman, and Kunar today, as well as Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan’s second largest city. It is consolidating its control of the east in preparation for its final assault on Kabul.
Herat City is the Taliban’s biggest victory since it began taking control of provincial capitals in late July. With the fall of Herat and Qala-i-Naw, the Taliban now fully controls the west.