AQIM has released an audio message confirming the death of its longtime emir, Abdulmalek Droukdel.
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.
The Taliban’s statement should raise deep concerns with U.S. officials about the group’s reliability to be an effective counterterrorism partner against Al Qaeda and other terror groups.
Palestinian militant factions have issued statements against the annexation of the West Bank and warn of violence if Israel proceeds with its plan.
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.