Ghazni is the tenth Afghan provincial capital to fall to the Taliban in the past week. Al Qaeda has deep roots in Ghazni. Osama bin Laden identified the province as a key safe haven for his men.
The Taliban never slowed in launching numerous attacks across the country even as it committed significant resources to the fight in Ghazni.
Al Qaeda has long operated in Ghazni province, the site of a large-scale Taliban offensive in recent days. In 2010, Osama bin Laden ordered his men to relocate from northern Pakistan into Ghazni and other Afghan provinces. Bin Laden’s lieutenant also wrote in mid-2010 that al Qaeda had “very strong military activity” in at least eight Afghan provinces, including Ghazni. More recently, American and Afghan forces have targeted al Qaeda operatives in the province.