The Taliban has the advantage in all of the key areas, save one. The Taliban has state sponsors, terrorist allies, regional support, a marked superiority in weapons and numbers, and controls all of Afghanistan. ISKP can only match the Taliban in one area, and this the will to fight and persevere.
Haji Mali Khan was a top Haqqani Network and Taliban leader when he was detained by the U.S. in 2011. He was freed in 2019 in exchange for a U.S. and an Australian professor who were kidnapped in Kabul in 2016.
Qari Baryal led an element of the Kabul Attack Network, which attacked Coalition and Afghan forces, as well as civilians, in an around Kabul. He is closely allied with Al Qaeda and has received financial support from Iran.
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.