According to the UN’s Jan. 2019 assessment, al Qaeda’s relationship with the Taliban is “long-standing” and “strong.” And al Qaeda “continues to see Afghanistan as a safe haven for its leadership.” The UN estimates that the Islamic State has several thousand fighters in Afghanistan as well.
Katibat Imam al Bukhari (also known as the Imam Bukhari Jamaat), an Uzbek jihadist group that operates in Syria and Afghanistan, has been formally designated as a terrorist organization by the US State Department today.
Abdul Hakim al Tatari, a Russian Tatar member of the former Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, joined the Islamic State’s Wilayat Khurasan before migrating to Syria. He was later killed in the battles around Baiji, Iraq, just days after arriving to Islamic State-held territory.
A former Guantanamo detainee known as Jamal al Harith (formerly Ronald Fiddler) launched a suicide attack with a vehicle borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) south of Mosul earlier this week. He is at least the second former Guantanamo detainee to launch a suicide attack in or around Mosul on behalf of the Islamic State and its predecessor organization.
The Treasury Department confirmed today that the head of al Qaeda’s Iran-based network, known as Yasin al Suri, is operational once again. Treasury also designated an additional “associate” of al Suri’s.