The U.S. transferred Abdul Latif Nasir from Guantánamo to his home country of Morocco. Nasir allegedly led forces during the 2001 Battle of Tora Bora and was a member of an al Qaeda training subcommittee.
The Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan highlights the often overlooked relationship between the Afghan Taliban, its Pakistani brothers, and al Qaeda, and Pakistan’s complicity in propping up terror networks.
According to a recently released report by a UN Security Council monitoring team, the Taliban is the “primary partner for all foreign terrorist groups operating in Afghanistan,” including al Qaeda. The only exception is the Islamic State, which opposes the Taliban.
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.
The Afghan military said it captured a German citizen who was fighting in Helmand province and belonged to the Taliban’s Red Unit, which serves as an elite unit that spearheads attacks on Afghan forces.
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 attack was executed by a Tajik fighter, who may have been a member of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan faction that merged with the Islamic State’s Khorasan province.
Abu Dher al Barmi, the former mufti of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan who defected in 2014, apologized for joining the Islamic State and encouraged others who joined the organization to leave it for other jihadist groups.
A senior Afghan military officer claimed that his forces killed Hafiz Saeed Khan, the emir for the Islamic State’s Khorasan province, during an ongoing military operation in the eastern province of Nangarhar. However Khan’s death cannot be independently confirmed.
ODNI released some information on counterterrorism raids as part of an effort to provide more transparency on these operations. US intelligence claims that between 2,372 to 2,581 combatants and between 64 to 116 civilians were killed in 473 strikes in areas outside of Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria since President Obama took office.
After Usman Ghazi, the last emir of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, joined the Islamic State’s Khorasan province, the group split in two and a core cadre remained loyal to the Taliban and al Qaeda.
“Six Resolute Support service members died as a result of a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device attack in Bagram, Afghanistan,” the international coalition confirmed. Bagram is a high priority target for the Taliban.
In an interview published on the Taliban’s official English-language website, Zabihullah Mujahid admits that Mullah Omar’s family and other senior Taliban officials hid Omar’s death. The text of the interview implies that Omar died in 2013.
Hazrat, who is also known as Abu Hazefa, was killed in Kunduz, where a number of jihadist groups are fighting Afghan forces. He served as a Taliban military commander and also was a member of al Qaeda.
Earlier this month, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan officially swore allegiance to the Islamic State’s emir, Abu Bakr al Baghdadi. On August 20, fighters from the Islamic Jihad Union followed in al Qaeda’s footsteps and pledged loyalty to Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour, the newly appointed leader of the Taliban.
The district of Kohistanat in once-peaceful Sar-i-Pul is the latest to fall to the Taliban. Kohistanat is a known gathering place for Arab, Uzbek, and Pakistani jihadists.
The al Qaeda and Taliban-linked jihadist group has operated under the radar of Western officials in Afghanistan, but continues to wage jihad alongside its allies.
The Taliban and allied groups such as the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, al Qaeda, Harakat-ul-Mujahideen, and Lashkar-e-Taiba are known to have run dozens of camps inside Afghanistan even as the Coalition was present.
The attack, which took place the Shawal Valley, a terrorist haven, is just the sixth recorded inside Pakistan this year. The US launched 117 drone strikes in Pakistan at the peak of the campaign in 2010.
Thousands of Taliban fighters are said to have attacked multiple districts in the northern province of Kunduz. The chief of the provincial council claimed that the Taliban control two-thirds of Kunduz.
Afghan intelligence agency says it foiled attempt to kill vice-president
Seven “militants” are reported to have been killed in a strike on a compound in an area administered by Sajna Mehsud.
Asmatullah Muawiya is said to have been targeted in one of the two strikes that took place today in Shawal area of North Waziristan in Pakistan.
The Taliban are training fighters in Faryab province and have overrun Khamyab district in Jawzjan province.
The Pakistani military claimed it “cleared” the Datta Khel area in September 2014 as part of operation Zarb-e-Azb. The US has launched seven drone strikes in Datta Khel since then.
Members of the Haqqani Network, the Hafiz Gul Bahadar Group, and “Uzbeks” are reported to have been killed in an attack in the Shawal Valley.
One of the districts was the location of the shoot down of a US helicopter that resulted in the deaths of 31 special operations personnel, including 17 US Navy SEALs, in 2011.
The Taliban killed 22 policemen and soldiers and captured eight more, and also destroyed and seized several military vehicles and weapons during the ambush in Sar-i-Pul.