After seizing control of the northern city of Mosul in the past 24 hours, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham has advanced southward and taken control of territory in the provinces of Salahaddin and Kirkuk.
Mapping special operations forces raids against al Qaeda and allied groups in Afghanistan shows that al Qaeda’s network has remained active in Afghanistan up until ISAF ceased issuing press releases on its targeting in June 2013.
The al Qaeda facilitator who was targeted in Nangarhar is known to relay messages for senior al Qaeda leadership and provide financial and logistical support for terrorists operating in Afghanistan.
Over the past several days, ISAF launched five raids against two senior al Qaeda leaders and two al Qaeda-linked Taliban commanders in Kunar and Nuristan provinces.
The International Security Assistance Force has balked at mentioning al Qaeda in press releases since the end of January.
While ISAF is reporting and commenting on raids against the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, it is unwilling to discuss al Qaeda’s operations in Afghanistan.
Six Afghan members of the al Qaeda-linked Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan were captured in Kunduz two days ago. The IMU in Afghanistan continues to take orders from its Pakistan-based leaders.
Additionally, ISAF captured a senior Taliban commander who worked with the Hizb-i-Islami Gulbuddin and who facilitated suicide attacks.
The northeastern Afghan province remains a stronghold for al Qaeda despite the surge in US forces. The US conducted 67 raids against al Qaeda and allied groups in Afghanistan in 2012.
An al Qaeda leader known as Numan was killed during a raid in the Nari district on Dec. 4. Numan supported senior “insurgent leaders” and moved weapons and fighters into the province.
Special operations forces killed an al Qaeda leader in Kunar and captured an Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan facilitator in Kunduz.
Reports of raids against al Qaeda and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan have decreased over the past two months, but “that does not indicate there were no missions executed, just that there was not a release issued,” ISAF told LWJ.