According to a new report by the State Department, the Afghan Taliban and its Haqqani Network are still “operating in Pakistan-based safe havens and threatening U.S. and Afghan forces in Afghanistan.” Pakistan has assisted the US in counterterrorism operations against al Qaeda. However, by refusing to move against the Taliban, including the Haqqanis, Pakistan is harboring al Qaeda’s most important allies in the region.
In 2017, LWJ reported unprecedented levels of airstrikes in Somalia and Yemen. Thus far in 2018, the United States has sustained its high strike tempo in Somalia and improved transparency on its air campaign in Yemen. Strikes in Pakistan have leveled off, however press restrictions make tracking operations there difficult. In Libya, the U.S. has targeted jihadists sparingly.
A team of jihadists assaulted Afghanistan’s Ministry of Interior in Kabul earlier today. It is the latest in a string of attacks inside the Afghan capital this year. Both the Taliban and the Islamic State’s Khorasan “province” are able to hit targets inside the city.
General Bajwa and Pakistani officials can pontificate all they like about how their country has eliminated terrorism and no longer permit terrorists to use its soil to attack another country. A look at the facts tells another story, and that is one of Pakistani duplicity.
A Taliban suicide bomber struck the old interior ministry building in Kabul, Afghanistan earlier today. He reportedly drove an ambulance packed with explosives. It was the second major Taliban attack inside the city in one week.
The US Treasury Department designated six Taliban-Haqqani figures as terrorists today. Treasury’s identifying information locates five of the six — including three senior Taliban finance officials and the deputy leader of the group’s military commission — inside Pakistan. At least two of the newly-sanctioned men have ties to al Qaeda.
The Taliban quickly claimed credit for an assault on the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul, Afghanistan. The jihadists’ siege lasted more than half a day before it was finally ended by Afghan security forces.
If Trump is serious about hitting back at Pakistan, expect the US to ramp up drone strikes against jihadists, and not just in Pakistan’s tribal areas.