During an online conference last week, CENTCOM commander Gen. McKenzie questioned the Taliban’s commitment to its supposed counterterrorism assurances. He pointed to al Qaeda’s presence in eastern Afghanistan and claimed Ayman al Zawahiri is there. In response, the Taliban falsely claimed that al Qaeda hasn’t been present in Afghanistan since the days of the Islamic Emirate.
Jihadists on social media say that two al Qaeda figures, Abu al Qassam and Bilal al Sanaani, were killed in a drone strike in Idlib. Their deaths haven’t been confirmed. Abu al Qassam was one of Abu Musab al Zarqawi’s closest comrades and an important al Qaeda figure in Idlib.
French and American officials say the emir of AQIM, Abdelmalek Droukdel (a.k.a. Abu Musab Abdel Wadoud), was killed in a counterterrorism operation in northern Mali on June 3. The U.S. military supported the French-led operation.
According to a new report by a UN monitoring team, the Taliban “regularly consulted with Al Qaeda during negotiations with the United States and offered guarantees that it would honor their historical ties.” The analysis contains numerous allegations of ongoing collusion between the Taliban and Al Qaeda.
According to a new report by the Lead Inspector General for Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, U.S. officials have assessed that the Taliban is “reluctant to publicly break with al Qaeda,” while Pakistan continues to harbor senior Taliban leaders, including the Haqqanis. The report confirms that the Taliban went on the offensive following the Feb. 29 withdrawal agreement with the U.S.
The FBI and DOJ announced today that Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani had “significant ties” to AQAP and had been planning a terrorist attack for years. Alshamrani carried out the Dec. 6, 2019 shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola, killing three U.S. sailors and wounding eight other Americans.
In late April, the Islamic State’s Yemen “province” released a video attacking al-Qaeda’s ideological credentials. The video is the latest piece of propaganda in the Islamic State’s campaign against its jihadist rival.
According to UNAMA, civilian casualties decreased during the first quarter of the year, as compared to similar timeframes in previous years. However, there was a “disturbing increase in violence” in Afghanistan following the U.S. agreement with the Taliban on Feb. 29. And the Taliban is the prime culprit with respect to civilian casualties.