Three prominent dual hatted Taliban and Al Qaeda leaders serve in key positions within the Taliban establishment, according to the United Nationals Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team. The Taliban is providing Al Qaeda with key support, including “welfare payments” and passports.
One of the co-leaders of the deadly Kabul Attack Network bragged about his role in deadly attacks in the Afghan capital. The Taliban commander, known as Taj Mir Jawad, is the Taliban’s deputy minister of intelligence.
Sanaullah Ghafar, who is also known as Shabab al-Muhajir, has been identified as an “ambitious new leader” of the Islamic State Khorasan Province. His challenge is to hold off the vastly superior Taliban, which controls Afghanistan.
TTP emir Noor Wali Mehsud said that his group “is a branch of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan” while traveling throughout Pakistan’s northern areas.
The Taliban has the advantage in all of the key areas, save one. The Taliban has state sponsors, terrorist allies, regional support, a marked superiority in weapons and numbers, and controls all of Afghanistan. ISKP can only match the Taliban in one area, and this the will to fight and persevere.
Haji Mali Khan was a top Haqqani Network and Taliban leader when he was detained by the U.S. in 2011. He was freed in 2019 in exchange for a U.S. and an Australian professor who were kidnapped in Kabul in 2016.
Qari Baryal led an element of the Kabul Attack Network, which attacked Coalition and Afghan forces, as well as civilians, in an around Kabul. He is closely allied with Al Qaeda and has received financial support from Iran.
With control of the Ministry of Interior, Sirajuddin now has the power to issue passports to Al Qaeda operatives and their allies, all in the name of the government of Afghanistan.
The Taliban appointed former Guantanamo Bay detainee Mullah Abdul Qayyum Zakir as a deputy minister of defense, while Ibrahim Sadr, who has worked closely with Iran in the past, was named a deputy minister of the interior for security.
The Taliban has announced the “interim” leadership of its newly restored Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. FDD’s Lpng War Journal profiles 22 of these figures, many of whom were sanctioned by the U.N. in 2001, are designated terrorists, or are former Guantanamo detainees. Multiple Taliban leaders have worked with al Qaeda.
The mountainous fortress province of Panjshir fell only seven days after the Taliban launched its assault. The Taliban is now in complete control of the country, and is set to declare its Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.
The Taliban launched attacks on three mountain passes that lead to Panjshir province, the last bastion of resistance in Afghanistan. The National Resistance Front repelled the assault.
Al Qaeda’s central media arm, As Sahab, released a two-page statement praising the Taliban’s “historic victory” in Afghanistan. Al Qaeda fought alongside the Taliban to resurrect its Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.
In a newly released message, Sirajuddin Haqqani discusses the importance of the Taliban’s judges in the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. Haqqani is preparing his men to rule over more territory in Afghanistan.
The Taliban has publicly rejected a proposal to share power with the “quisling administration,” meaning the Afghan government. The group also outright rejects elections, and warns that attacks on American and NATO troops will resume if they are not withdrawn by May 1.
The Taliban called for the return of its Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan as it denounced the Afghan government as a “corrupt and illegitimate regime.”
Al-Qaeda’s general command has released a three-page statement celebrating the U.S.-Taliban withdrawal agreement as a “victory” for the Taliban. Al-Qaeda calls on Afghans and the mujahideen to bolster the Taliban’s Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.
The Taliban has released a statement attributed to its leader, Hibatullah Akhundzada.
The Taliban has a released a series of statements threatening the Afghan elections this week. The statements are attributed to three different commissions within the Taliban’s Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, which operates as a shadow government throughout much of the country.
The Taliban says its representatives met with an American delegation in Doha on Oct. 12. The group says that members of the “Political Office” of the “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan” stressed that the “presence of foreign forces” is “the greatest obstacle obstructing true peace and solving problems.” The Taliban’s overall leader previously blessed “direct dialogue” with the Americans, so long as the talks focused on an American withdrawal.
The Taliban has released a new statement attributed to its emir, Hibatullah Akhundzada, who says there will only be “peace” when America leaves Afghanistan. Akhundzada blasts the current Afghan government as a “corrupt regime” and portrays the Taliban’s Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan as the only legitimate authority.
The Taliban has rejected a request by the Afghan government to extend its three-day ceasefire. The Taliban claims that the short-lived lull in the fighting proved that it has command-and-control over its forces throughout the country and that the mujahideen enjoy popular support.
The Taliban has announced that it will refrain from offensive operations against the Afghan government for three days during the Eid holiday. However, this is a shorter timeframe than the Afghan government’s announced ceasefire. And the jihadists say they will continue to attack the “foreign occupiers,” meaning the US and allied forces, during this brief respite. The Taliban also does not say it will participate in meaningful peace talks with the Afghan government.
The Taliban is touting the defection of Mullah Abdul Razzaq Mehdi, the purported “deputy” of the Islamic State’s Wilayah Khorasan. The Taliban is using his testimony to undermine the will of its jihadist rivals inside Afghanistan. But in so doing, the group reveals just how similar the two often are.
The Taliban released a statement attributed to its emir, Hibatullah Akhundzada, who says that “peace” is only possible if the “occupation” is ended. The statement is entirely self-serving and contains absurd claims. For example, Akhundzada writes that the Taliban wants a “free, independent and progressive Afghanistan,” which is completely inconsistent with the group’s ideology and history.
The Taliban has released an “open letter” to President Trump urging him to “adopt the strategy of a complete withdrawal from Afghanistan instead of a troops increase.” The propaganda letter contains several erroneous or misleading claims. It is also disingenuous with respect to the jihadist threat emanating out of Afghanistan.
Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) has released a 20-page code of conduct outlining its approach to waging jihad throughout the region. The group says its men are currently fighting “shoulder-to-shoulder” with the Taliban and calls on Muslims in the surrounding countries to pledge allegiance to the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (another name for the Taliban).
Al Qaeda’s general command has released a statement commenting on the “martyrdom” of Faruq al Qahtani and others. They were killed in an American airstrike on Oct. 23 in Afghanistan. Osama bin Laden’s files show that Qahtani was tasked with establishing new safe havens for al Qaeda in Afghanistan in 2010, if not earlier.
Both the Taliban and Junood al Fida, a jihadist group loyal to the Taliban and al Qaeda, have claimed that the Registan district in the southern Kandahar province has fallen to the jihadists. Afghan officials quickly denied the claim as “exaggerated.”